jueves, febrero 22, 2024

Can Harry Potter magic tourists back to Japan?

Fans get ready to enter Hogsmeade at the Grand Opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Hollywood, in Universal City, California. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios Hollywood

A new Harry Potter-themed tourist attraction is to be built in Japan for 2023, when it is hoped travel will be back to normal.

The “Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter” will be the second such attraction following on from the original tour in the UK.

The US firm will be working alongside Japanese partners to create the tour.

They hope tourism will have recovered from the coronavirus pandemic slump by the time it opens.

The site of the Harry Potter tour will be in a public park currently being developed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The plot already includes the Toshimaen Amusement Park which is scheduled to close at the end of August.

As part of the studio tour visitors will be able to see sets, costumes and props as well as experiencing scenes from the films first-hand.

The original Harry Potter tour in the UK has been a huge success since it opened in 2012, with more than 14 million visitors.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThousands of fans across the world queued up to watch the final Harry Potter film in 2011

Harry Potter-themed rides and attractions are popular across the world, along with the boy wizard films, which are based on the books written by JK Rowling.

Universal Studios features «Wizarding World of Harry Potter» attractions at its parks in the US and Japan.

“The franchise is an enduring and much-loved one by multiple generations, as adults who grew up with Harry Potter now take their own families to the theatres,” said a spokesman for Japan’s Itochu Corporation, which is helping to develop the park.

Olympic disappointment

The tourist industry in Japan has been hit hard, particularly Tokyo, which was scheduled to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

With the sharp fall in tourist numbers due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions, the Japanese government has encouraged its citizens to holiday within the country.

A national travel campaign offered subsidies of up to 50% on trips to and from areas of the country excluding Tokyo. However this was scrapped last month after a rise in infections.