Sustainable Tourism in the Pandemic Era: A Case Study of Japan
Keywords:Japan’s tourism development, Sustainable tourism, COVID-19 crisis, Tourism industry resilience, Crisis response measures, Stakeholders’ insights
The sustainable tourism concept has been evolving continually and respectively with modern society’s views on sustainability. The tourism industry constantly faces new challenges showing weak points and providing opportunities for further concept development. With the focus on Japan as a case study, this empirical research discusses the insights of key stakeholders about managing sustainable tourism development during the crisis. This research takes the COVID-19 pandemic as an example of a crisis, which provides an opportunity for the sustainable tourism concept for further evolution. The results indicated that public and private sector stakeholders have different visions of sustainable tourism development. Japan’s current public sector approach to it implies resolving the issue of overtourism in main tourism destinations and providing comfortable living for local communities. However, it does not have any implications for making tourism more resilient to external crises. The proposals of stakeholders for response measures for future sustainable tourism development and related policies included the establishment of a crisis management system in the tourism sphere, focus on the development of domestic tourism, creation of proper guidelines for the tourism industry for actions in case of crisis, revision of traditional tourism techniques, the establishment of “new lifestyle”/adaptation to “with Corona” era, focusing on online business/ tourism experience, focus on the development of small groups tours and individual tours, development of flexibility and adaptivity to changes in social conditions, incorporation of public health-related issues, non-contact content expansion, individual approach to different areas, and regional cooperation incorporation.
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