Handbook for providing rural tourism services to Japanese tourists
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“Japan is a good pilot market to win the whole of Asia. Welcome to Japan, it’s a worthwhile challenge”. Mr. Shigeyoshi Noto, marketing expert, Japan.This handbook aims to increase the capability of rural tourism companies to enter the Japanese tourism market and includes knowledge gathered from surveys of Japanese visitors, tourism agencies and travel intermediaries and analysis of Japanese tourists’ expectations and interests compared with the products and services offered by rural tourism enterprises. Following customer journey decision-makers’ interviews and forums, transport gaps were identified and potential solutions proposed. There is also the possibility to replace sectorial thinking with holistic or system thinking and actions, which could be seen as the basis for innovations. Building bridges between Baltic rural tourism providers and Japanese high-level final customers is a challenging prospect because of long distances, cultural differences, language barriers and a very rapidly changing market. At same time this is an important market because of the big volume and Japanese customers’ interest and respect towards our culture, nature, and heritage. This handbook is composed based on the knowledge and experience gathered during the INTERREG Central Baltic programme project “Meta-cluster for attracting the Japanese tourism market”. Our project partnership hopes that you will find this a helpful and interesting read which motivates you to provide more and better-quality products suited to the Japanese tourism market and to raise the accessibility of rural areas for other markets as well.