of the Research Committee on
"Industry Measures to Enhance the Competitiveness of Japanese
What Japan should do to reinforce its tourism industry?
Executive Advisor, DENTSU,INC
First, it will outline what Japan has done to promote tourism and
the global background of the reason why tourism is a hot industry
in the world. Then, it will list the effects of innovation in tourism
promotion, including the realization of an open society, the enhancement
of international credibility, the further expansion of economic growth,
and the resurgence of "made in Japan" brand image. Thirdly,
the international competitiveness of Japanese tourism industry will
be assessed quantitatively based on statistical analysis. Finally,
it will identify various issues to be addressed for tourism promotion,
drawn from the analysis of non-quantitative factors including the
contents, infrastructure, and information dissemination on tourism.
On the basis of above consideration, the report will recommend a comprehensive
measure package involving concrete proposals as stated below, in order to strengthen
the competitiveness of Japanese tourism industry:
(1) Perception of tourism industry and the development of an integrated strategy
(2) Enhancement of Japan’s appeal as tourist destination
(3) Development of infrastructure to enhance Japan’s attractiveness
(4) Revitalization of Japanese tourism industry
(5) Progress in information dissemination
(6) Human resource development
Competitiveness of Japanese tourism (attractiveness to lure more visitors)
Chapter 1 To strengthen competitiveness in tourism
Managing Director, Marketing, Japan Travel Bureau Foundation
In Japan the social role of tourism has not been properly assessed partly because
the leisure industry was ranked low in the society. As expectation toward tourism
promotion has been rising in various fields recent years, the value of tourism
has increasingly been recognized. When it comes to tourism promotion, however,
superficial phenomena such as movement of people and consumption tend to draw
attention, directly leading to discussion on measures to increase the number
of visitors under promotion driven effort. By identifying the fundamental meaning
and social role of tourism, this paper looks at the meaning and significance
of tourism promotion from the nation’s perspective and examines the direction
as to how the competitiveness of tourism can be strengthened.
It also presents the relevant developments as follows: First, tourism behavior
is defined as cultural behavior, and marketing based on this perception is essential
to enhance the competitiveness in tourism. Second, since the meaning of travel
and sightseeing in one’s life is changing with shift in social values, tourism
has become closely associated with urban development and community building.
As a result, tourism promotion has become synonymous with creation of a national
land with amenities and beauty. In this regard, tourism industry is transforming
itself from the ancillary industry to transportation in which tourists are just
transported and lodged into the content industry placing emphasis on the contents
that can excite and please people.
Chapter 2 Drawing more tourists in the new era---"Inter-regional
and mechanism of movements"
Graduate School of Osaka City University, Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences,
Ability to draw more tourists in the new era represents aggregation of efforts
by individual regions and cities to create more attractions for visitors. It
is important for each region/city to show its will to present unconventional
ideals of the city based on tourism. It is also essential to position tourism
as a pillar of general urban policy. This chapter looks at the concept of "a
city with power to draw more tourists." In this concept, the city attempts
to break away from an industrial society dependent on manufacturing sector, position
visitor industry in a broad sense as key industry, and integrate cultural tourism
and brand-building. It also explains the significance of spontaneous self-sustained
development of drawing power from the viewpoint of competition in East Asia.
In conclusion, the four items below are listed as key perspectives to gain new
- Establishment of comprehensive urban
policy and deregulation concerning tourism
- Progress in the Asian region from the perspective of intercity competition
- Movements in tourism promotion
- Focus on a community business based on drawing power
Chapter 3 Tourism in Japan: The Foreign Perspective
Deputy Director, Project Produce Division, DENTSU INC.
The Japanese Tourism Advisory Council was established in January 2003 and the
council submitted a tourism report in April of the same year.
The report contained the basic principles of an innovative policy for tourism
in Japan, which raised expectations among various sectors. However, the country
still lags behind the world in terms of basic measures specifically designed
to promote tourism.
There is only one reason for that: a lack of "marketing." While business
firms generally engage in marketing activities, Japan has failed to take basic
actions. Marketing analysis for the project, marketing strategies, and marketing
communications, are required to promote tourism as a national project.
Basic analysis and strategies have not been systematically put in place to identify,
for example, what the charm of tourism in Japan is from the view point of a foreigner,
why the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan is so small, how a "Japan
brand" should be created for tourism, and what foreign visitors seek in
Japan, etc. Also, products targeting foreign tourists have not been developed
in a comprehensive and integrated manner. This has been dissatisfying for tourists,
who are our customers.
This study report recommends a future strategy for tourism in Japan based on
interviews conducted with experts and the use of foreign travel agencies, which
could provide a "first contact point" for potential inbound tourists.
Section 2 Strategy to strengthen competitiveness (developing visitor attraction)
Chapter1 Strategy to transmit tourism information through reestablishing of national
Consultant, Research & Consulting Division, The Japan Research Institute,
According to National Land and Transportation Ministry, the main reason why Japan
ranks low in the world in terms of the number of foreign tourists is that it
has not promoted good aspects and charms of the country abroad enthusiastically.
Recently the ministry explains the need to develop a strategy to effectively
transmit Japan brand to the world.
Establishing a brand in tourism differs from other products most in that a consensus
has to be formed among people living there about the brand identity. Product
value of tourism depends not only on tourist spots, but also largely on communication
between residents who extend hospitality to visitors and tourists who express
appreciation in response to the warm welcome. It is therefore necessary to make
an effort so that people can resonate with a brand identity and extend a cordial
welcome to tourists with hospitality, when considering inbound promotion at a
In the case of defining a new brand identity of Japan, it is important, as a
part of its strategy, to begin by removing negative images on Japan, establish
a strong message as its identity that can never be duplicated by other countries,
and send out the message not only abroad but also within the country.
Chapter 2 Life Style and Pop Culture ? Strategic Featuring Points of Tourism
Senior Advisor, Planning & Coordination Division, Planning Department for
Regional Development, Development Bank of Japan
Most modern travelers on globe prefer tasting living life style and pop culture
of local people, rather to touring remains of ancient civilization of past people.
Tourism promotion in Japan thus must focus on featuring how contemporary Japanese
live and what they uniquely enjoy. Japan’s multicultural variation of foods,
flood of comics, animations, magazines and novels, young-women-oriented consumption
environment of large cities fascinate foreingers more than Fujiyama and geishas
do. Tour promoters should strategically recognize their unique charms, refine
their interfaces for foreigners and appeal them to the world.
Outside Japan, however, contemporary Japanese life style and its unique attractiveness
are one of the least known facts about the country. Mass media, especially that
of Europe and US, pays so little time and efforts to introduce them. Japanimation
films and game softwares that have been sweeping out the global market tell nothing
about real life of ordinary Japanese.
Japan has to set a strategy to promote the export; not of materials but of its
life style. Not only TV sets but also TV programs that show actual city life
of Japanese young generations. Not only cell phones but also the life style with
advanced handy internet system using cell phones. Why not holding more international
conventions in Japan related to Japanese pop cultures, that invite thousand of
enthusiastic fans scattered around Europe and US.
Post war Europe and US have kept their influence to the world not only by military
power and manufacturing expertise, but largely by strategic promotion of cultural
outflow. It’s about the time for Japan to do the similar; to enforce cultural
outbound to promote tourist inbound.
Chapter 3 Regional marketing in the age of visitor attraction competition?
strategy for "tourism oriented country"
Nihon University, College of Commerce,
The key strategy for building a prosperous region in the future will be to have
the mutual exchange of people en masse, as it will determine the direction of
regional development. In today’s world of competition over attracting visitors,
it will be essential for regional development to upgrade visitor accommodation
and to reinforce the regional marketing force, so to result in the vitalization
of the region as a whole with the greater number of people lured to the region.
The purpose of the efforts to build a region of visitor attraction is to vitalize
the region by providing opportunities for many people to socialize and communicate
each other, and to build a region "pleasant to live and to visit," with
visitors’ satisfaction and residents’ fulfillment mutually influencing each
other favorably in an upward spiral. To build a region of visitor attraction,
marketing efforts aim not only to get the numerical number of visitors, but also
to vitalize region as a whole through the development of a system to attain the
residents’ fulfillment and visitors’ satisfaction at the same time. Such efforts
can lead to the re-recognition of a way of a region through synergy effects in
the market, and to the mutual efforts to renovate a region, with increased opportunities
and prospects for the rediscovery and restoration of regional culture, community,
and identity. Moreover, the efforts may open a gate for people to re-think the
question of "whose town is this." Towns or regions are the very place
of people’s "coexistence" where they share benefits, and the site
of "joint creation" where people create their way of life.
Chapter 4 A study on the problems of cultural production and several
suggestions from the viewpoint of ‘invention of tradition’.
Yokohama College of Commerce, Department of trade and tourism, Faculty of commerce,
Touristic culture such as souvenir or dance show is often criticized by lots
of researchers labeled it spurious culture, comparing with ‘traditional culture’.
It can be pointed that ‘the North-South problems in tourism’ cause ‘the Cocacolaizacion’
and the commoditization of culture. Many case studies are referred ‘traditional
culture’ changed to a show or disappeared because of guest’s curiosities peeping
at the other’s ordinary lives.
Ogi-machi, Shirakawa-go is famous for its Gassho-style-house recorded as World
Heritage by UNESCO in 1995, where welcome about 1,400,000 visitors per year now.
But the increase of visitors as a fact brought lots of problems such as the lack
of host’s privacy and refuse thrown away by guests. Tourists tend to despise
uninhabited tourist facilities including open-air museum or cultural center.
Concept of ‘model culture’ will play the important roll to exhibit or show
the regional culture toward tourists, I give an example of Gassho-style-house’s
It is important to present the regional culture that hosts and guests compromise
each other from the standpoint of ‘invention of tradition(culture)’, preserving
host’s cultural identity, at the same time satisfying guest’s interest.
Moreover interactive communication between hosts and guests, the participant
of cultural expert who give the cultural comprehension to the tourism enterprise
or the organization, mass media, will be needed.
Chapter 5 Creation of a society built on tourism and expectation toward "new
President & Coo, Japan Tourism Association
While 16 million Japanese people travel overseas each year, the number of international
visitors to Japan remains only 5 million, which is significantly low. Under the
circumstances, the Japanese government has set a goal of doubling the current
figure of international visitors to 10 million by 2010. The main reason for the
dramatic increase in the number of Japanese tourists abroad is economic growth
in Japan. The boost in the number has little to do with the policy designed by
foreign governments to attract more Japanese visitors, but has been achieved
through the successful policy of expanding market for overseas travel which Japanese
airlines and travel agencies adopted for commercial purposes in an attempt to
exploit rise in the income level of Japanese. Overseas travel by Japanese was
liberalized in the Olympic year of 1964. Taiwan and Korea followed suit in 1979
and the year after the 1989 Soul Olympics respectively, thereby pushing up the
number of tourists from those countries to Japan, etc. China, the host of the
2008 Olympics, is also expected to steadily raise the number of Chinese visiting
our country as long as its economy continues to grow. Compared with other western
nations, Japan with the culture of Chinese characters has greater appeal to Chinese
tourists. The number of tourists from mainland China is likely to show sharp
rise simply by implementing measures such as area expansion of tourists’ visa
issuance for group tours. Such measure should be implemented as quickly as possible
even separately from security and labor issues. Support from foreign tourists
cannot be assured unless Japanese people are willing to assess their own tourism
resources in a strict manner. If Japan seeks to realize a country based on tourism,
it will be vital to form a traveler-centered society with arranging power in
Section 3 Addressing individual issues
Chapter 1 Potential of Japanese style eco-tourism and the way to conduct business
Managing Director, Marketing, Japan Travel Bureau Foundation
Eco-tourism includes new perspectives that did not exist in the traditional Japanese
tourism: to enjoy local nature and cultural environment while balancing conservation
and exploitation, to integrate tourism with concept of contribution to local
community, and to use a measure which enables a participant to experience by
exciting the senses under the guidance of an interpreter, etc. According to market
research, only 5% of those surveyed want to participate in eco-tourism very much,
while over 30% are interested to try it at least once, indicating that the potential
demand for eco-tourism is substantially high. In fact, the data provided by tour
operators, which promote eco-tourism across Japan reveals that the number of
participants in eco-tourism has been on the sharp rise since around 2000, and
the number of tour operators specializing in eco-tourism has also been growing.
Regarding the development of eco-tourism in Japan going forward, a business focusing
on Australian/Costa Rican-style nature experience is promising in places blessed
with distinctive nature such as Hokkaido and Okinawa. On the other hand, Japanese
style eco-tourism needs to be developed in a mountainous and surrounding agricultural
area rich in nature but poor in unique features, so that charms of the local
community including the culture deeply associated with nature and lifestyle of
the farming village can be widely promoted. In any case, as long as one can acquire
technique to develop a program for visitors to enjoy nature, it is possible to
start small business in local area in a relatively easy way, and encourage local
communities across the country to engage in eco-tourism.
Chapter 2 Visitor attraction strategy based on urban style theme parks ? The
case of the Oriental Land Co., Ltd.
Director, Publicity Division, Oriental Land Co., Ltd.
This chapter will describe the facilities that constitute the Tokyo Disney Resort,
present various data on the Resort attendance, and indicate how the Tokyo Disney
Resort continues to attract visitors ever since the opening of the Tokyo Disney
Land in 1983.
The steady increase in number of the Resort visitors certainly demonstrates the
fundamental strength of its software called Disney, as well as the advantageous
circumstances of site selection and the timing of its opening. In addition to
these, the Oriental Land Co. has implemented various measures, such as: the repeater
measure to offer new appeals and fresh entertainments to avoid boring repeated
visitors. In order to maintain higher re-visit rate; the company created various "dream" spaces
throughout the Resort area, so the visitors can realize their "dreams" in
and out of the Resort as much as possible. Also, they have promoted the Resort
as the "destination resort" rather than one of various sightseeing
spots in the Metropolitan Tokyo area, and developed the favorable environment
for the "destination resort" to increase the number of over-night visitors
and the number of hours each visitor spends at the Resort.
Moreover, the company finds that, in order to fully respond to the expectation
of repeaters, who make up the majority of the Resort visitors, it is essential
to provide not only new and fresh facilities and convenience, but also high level
services by experienced personnel or cast with the full spirit of hospitability.
Chapter 3 Revitalization of the Keihin Waterfront District - Strategy to use
the tourism industry
Vice-chief, Policy Planning and PR Division Division, The Kawasaki Chamber of
Commerce and Industry
Assistant Chief, Keihin Coastal Zone Revitalization Division, Planning Department,
Kanagawa Prefectural Government
The Keihin Waterfront District stretches from the Kawasaki City to Yokohama City
as one of the most developed industrial areas of Japan. It used to be viewed
as the potential site to house the "Tezuka Osamu World," which was
the project envisaged around 1996. The first part of the chapter 3 explains about
this project and its history. The latter part introduces various concrete measures
to revitalize the once run-down Keihin Waterfront District, especially the measures
of introducing industrial tourism and disseminating information. Finally, the
chapter will indicate that the District needs to promote industrial tourism so
to make the District the focal point of industrial tourism in Japan.
Section 4 Conclusion
Chapter 1 Incorporating tourism viewpoint into every industry
The key point in building a tourism oriented nation is for every industry, from
agriculture, forestry, fishery, mining, manufacturing to retails and services,
to develop and maintain the perception on how each will appear to outsiders,
while keeping their pride and brilliance. Unless every industry perceives the
viewpoint of outsiders, a mere effort to promote the tourism industry only will
not bring a tourism-oriented nation.
In order to realize a true tourism-oriented nation with the aforementioned perception,
it is necessary to enhance the attractiveness of Japan as a nation, and to raise
the brand image of the nation. Secondly, it is important to adopt a strategy
for disseminating such brand image of the nation. Third priority will be to encourage
the eagerness to wholly welcome tourists who are to visit the nation in response
to the perceived brand image of a nation, and to build sufficient system and
infrastructure to accommodate such visitors. The chapter will review a way to
proceed with the concrete and integrated measures for these three priority issues
and discuss the issues involved.
Chapter 2 General Overview
Senior Managing Director, Editor in Chief, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, INC.
A country built on tourism" has been a widely discussed topic. In order
to achieve it, "sightseeing" or "tourism" should be considered
from the perspective of nation-building in which Japan seeks to become a "truly
mature society" with affluence and charm, extending beyond the viewpoint
of businesses directly involved with tourism. And it is important to identify
and establish value suitable for such a society. Also, domestic tourism by Japanese
and international tourism promoted by foreigners should be discussed together
rather than treated separately. The key to sustainable development of domestic
and international tourism is to build a country/society which Japanese themselves
can feel drawn to and proud of.
Japan has to realize the fact that it has continued to place excessive emphasis
on efficiency and destroyed valuable tourism resources in an effort to overcome
poverty and catch up. The country must be prepared to invest an immense amount
of time in order to secure tourism resources and attempt to realize a country
built on tourism. Otherwise, tourism campaign could end up with interregional
zero-sum battle to lure customers, leading only to "one product per village" type
As cornerstone of a long-term strategy for a country built on tourism, Japan
as a whole must acquire its cultural charm and magnet to attract people. The
charm cannot be born from standardization. The nation’s attractiveness can be
created when regions rich in originality and diversity compete in winning their
charms each other.