2. Measures for Tourism Based Community Development
What are the specific measures to be taken for tourism based community development? In one community, faced with a proposal to tear down the community's symbolic building, volunteers formed a committee to preserve the local scenery. This group later became the mother body for tourism development that focused on sustainability of the local community.
In another community, discovery of a rare natural resource caused a sudden rush of visitors that far exceeded the receiving capacity of the local community. The natural resource was also at risk. The members of the tourism industry, agriculture and fisheries got together to establish a tourism promotion association. The association continues to work on regional promotion through sustainable tourism that protects natural, cultural and historical resources.
These examples show that enthusiasm for community development is a vital factor in tourism based community development. This is followed by ensuring the sustainability of the living environment, resources and visitor satisfaction and establishing a system that balances the living environment, resources and visitor satisfaction.
1) Enthusiasm for community development
Upon examination of the pioneering efforts in tourism based community development both in Japan and abroad, we find a common starting point: efforts by the residents and government to improve their community. Measures have been taken to balance resource preservation and use, and to enhance visitor satisfaction. Development efforts require active resident participation, and must be realistic and sustainable. It is important to arouse enthusiasm and to establish a leader in community development.
The role of the government is certainly important, but the leader in community development is not necessarily limited to the government. In cases where government takes the leading role, it should be taken up not by the tourism department, but by the entire government body.
2) Securing sustainability of the living environment, resources and visitor satisfaction
Specific measures must be taken to secure the sustainability of the living environment, resources and visitor satisfaction.
[Securing sustainability of the living environment]
The main goal of tourism based community development is regional revitalization. The living environment shall be improved making full use of the resources.
Economically, it is important to promote tourism industry, agriculture and other related industries that create new jobs, such as hotels, food and beverage establishments, and souvenir shops.
Measures must be taken to prevent deterioration of the living environment due to increased visitors. Such efforts may include asking tourists to avoid littering or making too much noise. Other measures include improvements of tour routes, zoning and other forms of planned land use.