Japan is a diverse and rich country, culturally and geographically. Every year more international visitors travel to this country of endless discovery. But there are still many beautiful sites not experienced by non-Japanese guests, including the network of National Parks.
This year the Ministry of the Environment has set out to change this, and has begun a project to increase international visitors to the country’s natural treasures. Two areas have been chosen as model areas: Nikko, and Kyushu.
For 2 days, from August 19 to 20, a group of local stakeholders, and tourism professionals toured the Kirishima-Kinokowan National Park to research and evaluate the possibilities of increasing international tourist to the area.
This national park is located in the south of Kyushu Island and features unique, majestic volcanic craters.
Brad Towle, the director of international tourism promotion and development for the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, was a keynote presenter, and consultant for this trip, sharing the experience of how Kumano has made positive changes to international tourism from a grassroots, community-based prospective.
This beautiful region has much potential for a high-quality experience for international visitors, and we wish them luck with this project and others that will develop around them. Thank you very much for inviting us.