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Japan should use the COVID downturn to improve aspects of tourism. Japan was not quite ready for a big influx of tourism … The new policy of focusing on sustainability, but not hurrying to increase inbounds, I hope will be effective and show results when the border opens up more freely.


Kumi Kato, a Professor of tourism at Wakayama and Musashino universities, saying the pandemic could also be an opportunity for Japan to course correct on unsustainable tourism.

© Al Jazeera

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tourism is dead in Japan. from both aspects. people who once were interested in Japan are shifting their interests elsewhere while the Japanese themselves have become a nation of hikkikomori when it comes to the outside world.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

I am struggling to get any kind of meaning out of this. While it may be possible to control tourism on a micro level, at a museum, national park, beach resort, etc. no major tourism player in the world does it on a national level through "a policy of sustainability". The idea that Japan as a tourism newcomer could pull that off is fanciful. As the general direction, Japan is busting a gut to build casinos, not moving to ban cruises or any other tourism limiting measure. This tourism professor mentions a "new policy of sustainability" as if such a thing actually exists. It does not.

Pre-Covid, inbound tourism to Japan was very successful. It just kind of happened, and was not the result of any government policy or promotion. The only thing the government did was belatedly start issuing tourist visas to Chinese which it hadn't before. There were downsides like excessive crowding at certain places and niggles like graffiti, littering, and suitcases on trains. However, three million tourists a month undeniably means more economic activity and more jobs. To turn around now and say we need to restrict it for "sustainability" means coming up with other sources of revenue and jobs for real people. That's what I want to hear from college professors, not vague buzzwords and unrealistic ideas.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I like the sentiment here, I really do. I just would want to know what kind of specifics he had in mind. Sustainable tourism is a dream for most governments, but has been pretty difficult to reach. Especially if you are talking about international tourism.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Kohakuebisu# have to agree with you. I think people are just taking cues from Koikesan who throws the word ‘sustainability’ around like it’s a magic carpet, but has very little else of substance to offer. There is though a definite push under the guise of ‘regional revitalization’ ,which we see in my hometown of Fukui, where there is a lot of talk around micro tourism and trying getting a larger share from the big city tourist routes like Kyoto. ( just two hours away )

A lot of well meaning and clever people seem to be on the case to try and open up inbound tourism, whenever it does restart, to the charms and virtues of slow country life. 癒される 福井、that sort of thing. Hoping it actually takes off, because it would be a great little boost for the prefecture if done well. Just hope we will be allowed into the as foreigners! Let us become certified guides. Hint hint

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Into the fray!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Makes sense, just trying to get as much people as possible and have zero plans for the inevitable drop of tourism for any reason is irresponsible. Making a well thought and detailed strategy to make tourism an accessory industry is much safer.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At the start of 2020 and in 2019 I remember how there was a movement to basically somehow stop inbound tourism because there was a lot of "crowding", like in Kyoto, but at the time it didn't seemed as a position that was posible.

But now, after 2 years of extreme border measures that do not even seem to be ending any time soon, I just hope this kind of language and speak isn't used to replace the reason of the border restrictions for Covid to border restriction for "sustainability".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah, but they won't.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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