4th International Symposium on Aspects of Tourism
THE END OF TOURISM? Mobility and Local-Global Connections
Eastbourne June 23/24 2005
Sustainable Tourism in Japan
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt
University of Applied Sciences Stralsund






   Best viewed with Internet Explorer.

These pages are ONLINE at: www.tourism-international.de


  Four major factors shaping

Japans Tourism Development  

“Tourism Encourages Nation-building that Provides a Good Living Habitat and a Good Place to Visit
The basic concept for a country built on tourism is the realization of '
nation-building’ that provides a good living habitat and a good place to visit’ whereby the people living in the region can have a stronger recognition of its ‘highlights’ and the people visiting the region can also feel the ‘highlights’ even more strongly.”
(Japan Tourism Advisory Council 2003)

“Now that we are able to benefit from material prosperity, we need to abandon our traditional attitude of putting the economy above all else. We need to step out of our workplaces and enjoy nature and culture with our family and friends. We need to regain our emotional wealth and spiritual prosperity.
Tourism provides us with opportunities to look at our land, our history, our culture, and our way of life from new perspectives and to build a nation that is truly rich and filled with creative energy. If this ’faceless’ Japan is to gain the trust and understanding of the international community, we must first look inward and learn to understand ourselves.”


Tourism in Japan is surprisingly underdeveloped. As the two quotes from the Japanese government and the national employers association demonstrate, tourism is laden with concepts quite different from other industrialized countries.

Four important factors can help to understand the framework under which tourism, sustainable or otherwise, exists in Japan:

- the unique circumstances of the ongoing ‘nation-building’ process of the imagined community ‘Japan’

- the position of leisure and tourism in the Japanese society

- the strong influence of ‘big business’ interests in tourism development

- the forms of nature appreciation in Japan.


 Contact: wolfgang.arlt@fh-stralsund.de  Tel. +49 (3831) 456 961