Daisuke Fujii, President of Ohtawara Tourism
Kosei Yamada, Associate Professor
Chiba University of Commerce, Faculty of Service Innovation
As people expect a lot the tourism industry as a growth industry just before the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tochigi is working on improving their service and promoting tourism by involving locals, tourism business, related organizations and the local governments.
What kind of efforts are required for the future Tochigi tourism? We had an interview with two experts, Daisuke Fujii, President of Ohtawara Tourism, a forward-thinking approach attracting attention in Japan and Kosei Yamada, Associate Professor of Chiba University of Commerce, Faculty of Service Innovation who conducts tourism business study and field works on tourism region, business and facility
Firstly, Professor Yamada analyzed the situation of tourist industry and said, “The launching LCC（Low Cost Carrier） changed the flow of people, OTA（Online Travel Agent）, companies handling travel products appear online and community-led DMO（Destination Marketing Organization）offering tourism service is also active.
The traditional business model has dramatically been changed.” “The travel style which has been shifted from group travel to individual travel over the years is further affected by the inbound marketing strategy” said Fujii.
“Rural tourism just become active and it is too early to assess the activities.
The fundamental challenge that visitors won’t stay overnight due to lack of tourist attractions in rural areas is found in everywhere in Japan.
Also, concerning the necessity of farm stay receiving individual travelers, “What is required for visitors is not intermodal passenger transport nor Wi-Fi connection but accommodations as a base for long stay.
We believe that we must refer to two Italian accommodation styles, Agriturismo and Albergo Diffuso” (which he visited last year in Italy) told Fujii who said no guest house is required in rural areas. “We need to establish accommodations for long stay.
To achieve it, it is important to propose a sightseeing style of rural tourism” said Fujii, suggesting the potential of Tochigi for farm stay and tourist attractions.
Lastly, regarding the future tourism of Tochigi, Professor Yamada highly valued the potential of Tochigi and said, “It is easy to access from Tokyo and has any tourism resources except of sea. Tochigi has everything for rural tourism while using farm guest house as a base for long stay.” Fujii mentioned about his business on farm stay and rural tourism and the necessity of increasing demands by information dissemination and sale promotion using ICT with “CREATE” as the keyword.
Born in 1975 in Iwatsuki, Saitama. As the president of Farm & Firm Company Co.,Ltd, he supports activities to build communities and operates management consulting business as well as Shimotsuke Farm, deli and food business. As an integrated approach from public and private organizations, he established and becomes the president of Ohtawara Tourism to promote the green tourism business. Ohtawara Tourism offers hands on programs including farm stay experience.
Associate Professor, Chiba University of Commerce, Faculty of Service Innovation. Born in 1973 in Odate City, Akita.
Completed the Doctor’s Programs at Rikkyo University Graduate School of Tourism. After serving as an associate professor of Teikyo University Faculty of Economics, Department of Regional Economics, appointed to the present position. Tourism region and agricultural tourism specialist. Currently he conducts research and study in each region on promotion of receiving individual tourists at farm guest houses.