quote of the day

We are reaching our limits both mentally and financially. I believe that a boom in visiting Japan will definitely come after the pandemic. I'm worried that guides who can handle that situation will be in short supply.


Yoshie Matsumoto, president of the Japan Federation of Certified Guides. Professional tour guides in Japan are asking the government for financial support, saying the COVID pandemic poses a serious threat to their careers.


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Who needs a guide in Japan?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Yoshie Matsumoto, president of the Japan Federation of Certified Guides. Professional tour guides in Japan are asking the government for financial support, saying the COVID pandemic poses a serious threat to their careers.

Sorry, you are not an oil wholesaler, hotel owner, landlord of an underutilized eatery.

No support for you.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I do like an optimist, but there are no signs that the Japanese Govt. will allow tourism to restart (unlike everywhere else).

The Chinese do - well, did - seem to like having a guide, but as they will be locked inside China for the foreseeable future under 'Covid Zero', and Japan has no plans to reopen to tourists, the government might fund a scheme to help folk in what is left of the tourist sector retrain. They were first to be tossed under the bus when Covid hit, despite working hard to facilitate an industry that previous government regimes supported and encouraged. Now they seem to be last on the list.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Actually, what Matsumoto-san is saying is what awaits the tourism industry as a whole. Currently, the industry is getting choked by (obviously) lack of tourism. Down the road as people still need to pay the bills and, well, have money to live, a LOT are dropping / have dropped out in order to be able to survive with many more than likely to not come back as they now know how fickle the tourism industry is.

Tourism is heavily depending on a stable and positive (or perceived as such) situation. The situation changes, the tourists stop coming. The tourists stop coming, the money dries up.

As such, I would think that talking about an upcoming "boom" is pretty much nonsense. Worldwide, tourism has been savaged, household finances have taken a massive blow and economies are still far from being able to recover as the next (Ukraine) crisis has already blown up in everybody's face while tensions (Russia, China x Taiwan) loom. There is no stability in view.

Already hoping for a return to pre-COVID figures would be very optimistic me thinks, as the capacity to sustain such figures has taken a blow (i.e. workers switching to other industries, operators such as hotels/Inn/minpaku, taxi/bus/train companies which may have closed altogether or transformed into something else (for example minpaku becoming a sharehouse or something that is not tourism-dependent or related).

This again, will translate into headwind for companies provided manual / administrative services to these operators (i.e. accounting, maintenance, plumbing, repairs, etc) which may then also start letting people go.

Tourism representative and J-gov ministers talk about tourism as it was something akin to lamp with an ON/OFF switch. It's an industry which is not yet in a state to return to pre-crisis "normality" which is actually fine, as tourists are anyway not likely to run in the doors any time soon due to their own reasons...

Instead of still referring to the (now outdated) optimistic (if not ridiculous target) figures from pre-COVID times, ought the industry and government stop mistaking wishful dreaming for planning skills and start to assess the remaining capacity, scroll down optimism and start to roll out a realistic roadmap to recovery. Oh yeah, and having a plan B to replace tourism to roll out NOW would be nice too!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

agree with blue. I unfortunately don't share Matsumoto's optimism for the future. With tourists shut out, I think Japan is starting to enjoy a Japan without (or greatly reduced number of) foreigners. The sakoku mindset has definitely kicked in and I believe that the socio economic fallout from the pandemic will impact the Japanese psyche even more than we are seeing now.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Please use this downtime then Japan Federation of Certified Guides, to make it easier for foreign nationals living in japan to get qualified and certified to be a guide then. When the floodgates reopen, and they will, tap everyone who loves Japan and wants into the industry. Last time I checked it was a nightmare to be able to legally operate tours here they make you take ridiculous tests and jump through hoops deliberately made difficult. Much like what they did with the interim nurses that were invited to come work only to have their dreams of staying crushed by a pretend system that really didn't want them to stay. If you want it to happen Japan, simplify.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Zichi, they hit 31 million tourists in 2018 mate. Japan will always be an awesome tourist destination once they decide to open up. We may see some action after the election.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You tourism professionals too don’t get the big picture, do you? They in all developed economies intentionally strangle all car industries, flights, other traveling, tourism, one can say any bigger not so ecological moving in general , for their climate changing theories and the according agendas and hidden manifestos. Now you are forced instead to ‘enjoy’ tourism in form of mass cycling events over the Rainbow Bridge, if you need an example or hint for what I mean.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I really don't know what I'm talking about, but I feel like it's gonna be hard for Japan to bounce back. Everyone I've talked to can't wait to travel to places like Vietnam or Thailand where they can live like kings for a week or two. After two years of no travel, are people gonna want to spend their two weeks off on a beach in tropical paradise where they feel rich? Or spend their time calmly walking through temples and a few nights out in Tokyo?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

There is a lot of pent up demand for international travel but I think the rebound will not reach past levels.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Vreth, you made a good point, as did @blue. In spite of having good friends in Japan (some with young children that I truly adore) I am not only looking at other international destinations because of the J-Gov's shutdown of tourism, but also because there are so many other places in the world that are equally interesting and safe to visit. And I do feel sorry for the people in the tourism industry who have lost their jobs.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Of course tourists will soon come flooding back to dirt cheap Japan with its basket case of a " currency". I imagine the Chinese particularly will be snapping up everything in sight with their extremely low prices. Who wouldn't?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Once the mid year elections are over and the LDP is secure for another few years I think they will open the doors pretty quickly to tourism again!

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Me included, can't wait for my family and friends to visit Japan. I love Japan, I hope tourists come back strong and things can get going again. As much as I loathe my fellow Australians treating Hakuba and other ski places with absolutely no respect, they've been sorely missed by all the local businesses. I want to see them thriving again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yes absolutely ridiculous this tourist ban.. Open up and let all the bargain hunters in. The Japanese yen is the world's weakest and sickest currency, now at 128 to the dollar and on the way to 150 in a few weeks. Surely now is the time to let in the world's hoards so they can take advantage of their huge spending power in Japan now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Who needs a guide in Japan?

Japanese! Unless you have been on a tour with one, you dont know what you have been missing. Local tour guides provide a HUGE service in sharing their knowledge regarding the history and culture in countless numbers of places here in Japan, that the average Japanese tourist wouldnt know on their own.

Dont know where you come from, but I will be any money, you dont know the history of your own "home town"

let alone country!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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