A Guidebook to Tourism Based Community Development
-- New Vision for Regional Development --
Practical Guide to Tourism Based Community Development
Background and Purpose of the Survey
Today, as we face the 21st Century and an ever more global society, tourism has become a focal point of attention for multiple reasons.
Japan is a recognized world economic power. There is greater emphasis on spiritual fulfillment now that our economic needs have been met. People desire to spend more time with family and friends, to contribute to society at large in volunteer capacities, or to participate in NPO activities. In global tourism, tours grow increasingly oriented on hands-on experience, participation and learning opportunities.
Unification and globalization of the world's markets have led to greater exchanges of people, goods and information beyond national borders. As seen in the example of computer operating systems, a single product can extend far beyond international boundaries to sweep the entire global marketplace. In tourism, domestic destinations now face direct exposure to severe competition against international destination and market making efforts.
With both geriatrification and falling youth demographics affecting societal changes, Japan has a pressing need for regional revitalization and creation of job billets in domestic industries. Tourism is a key industry expected to contribute to regional promotion.
Nonetheless, manufacturing has always been the focus of industrial development in Japan. Little, qualitatively or quantitatively, is understood of the conditions impacting the tourism industry today. There must be a greater awareness of what the greater issues are, and what measures may be necessary. The absence of such awareness is a hindrance to integrating the key components of tourism development-- resources, community development, and the overall industry - to working towards the common goal of further developing a tourist destination. Local development efforts too often lack the needed systemization, structure or human resources that could enhance the value of tourism resources or promote the tourism industry.
Consequently, some tourist destinations now must deal with critical aspects of the degradation of resources, ineffective resource use, friction between the tourism industry and local residents, or inadequate understanding of market demands.
The underlying issue is the inability to manage resources and the tourist destination in an integrated format. There is a clear need for tourist destinations to be managed in sustainable ways, not only preventing degradation of tourism resources but also enhancing their value, creating a system or structure that satisfies the needs and demands of both residents and tourists.
This survey works to redefine the role of the tourist destination based on views of "tourism integrated into community development" Concurrently, it also serves as a guide to tourism based community development, introducing case studies of both Japan and from abroad, of real world efforts to establish model tourist destinations.
This guidebook was compiled by government civil servants and members of non-political organizations variously working in tourism based community development.