On August 27th the second communication level up seminar was held for people who work at accommodation facilities in the coastal area of Tanabe City.
This workshop was conducted by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau to help accommodations prepare and adapt to international visitors. Our goal was to give them quality communication tools so that they can communicate necessary information without being bilingual in English.
During the second seminar we visited Miyoshiya Ryokan to experience how to arrange English signs and information without ruining the Japanese atmosphere of the facility.
Back in the classroom they split into several groups and had a discussion about what kinds of information would be necessary for foreign guests. They came up with many specific situations such as “billing methods” and “etiquette for taking baths.”
One ryokan owner commented that “the lecture was very helpful. It eliminated my apprehensions (to have foreign guests stay at my Inn).”
The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau believes that supporting local citizens at a grassroots level is very important to realize our goal of creating a sustainable tourism destination.
Once owners and staff of accommodations are prepared to have foreigner guests stay at their establishments, there will be less stress for themselves and visitors. Having appropriate systems in place will reduce misunderstanding, increasing the enjoyment of both visitors and staff. By word of mouth visitors will increase, opening up new markets for business.
In this way locals can preserve their customs and culture stress free, and at the same time improve economic development and diversification, which will help to create a sustainable tourism destination.