A visit to Doggy’s Island Resort and Villa in Yachimata highlighted the growth opportunities for British Columbia wood products in Japan’s tourism sector, which supports the well-paying forestry jobs on which B.C.’s rural communities depend.
While in Japan, delegates on B.C.’s largest-ever forestry trade mission also toured the Tokyo Lumber Terminal, visited CS Lumber and the Japan Home and Building Show, and met with key Japanese customers and government officials.
“While the Japanese market for B.C. wood products is more mature than that in China, there are still opportunities to grow our market share,” said Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson. “Given the importance of forestry to B.C.’s economy and family-supporting jobs, I’m interested in pursuing all opportunities to diversify markets for B.C.’s world-class wood products.”
Due to its popularity, the owners of Doggy’s Island Resort are adding another 42 rooms to this pet-friendly resort. The new construction will be wood frame. This is possible only because of recent changes to the Japanese building code with regard to fire-resistant construction.
The use of wood-frame construction in the tourism sector represents a growth opportunity for B.C. wood products. Trade mission delegates also visited CS Lumber, which is supplying the wood components for the resort expansion manufactured from B.C. lumber.
The Japan Home and Building Show – Japan’s largest – is an important event for B.C.’s value-added and specialty wood manufacturers to increase sales in Japan. The home show attracts builders, designers of both residential and commercial buildings. While at the show, Donaldson presented a plaque to Mikio Watanabe, president of Takahiro Mokuzai Co., in recognition of the company’s many years as a leading importer of western red-cedar products from B.C.
The trade mission wrapped up with a networking event of over 160 Japanese customers and a meeting with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism.
Trade missions are a cornerstone of provincial-federal-industry market development efforts in Asia, and raise the understanding about the specific needs of key markets like China and Japan.
- British Columbia is Japan’s largest supplier of wood products. In 2016, B.C.’s softwood lumber exports to Japan totalled $725 million.
- In 2016, B.C.’s forest sector directly supported 60,000 workers and their families in more than 140 B.C. communities.