1,300-year-old Nishiki market in Kyoto is now "a crush of spectators rather than a lively scene of local shoppers." Can tourism help create and reinforce local communities?
Japan's riding the wave with the highest growth in tourist arrivals: 233% 2010-2017; no2 is Vietnam with 155%. (UNWTO, 2018). 31 million tourists to Japan in 2018 — and aiming for 60 million in 2030.
We know tourists are not going away. Does Japan have a choice, anyway? It badly needs the people who come as a tourist - like many other contracting ageing economies do. Importantly, as destinations the world over (Barcelona, Venice etc.) are struggling under pressure on infrastructure - and on locals' sanity - it's key to ensure all parties can benefit financially and emotionally from the exchange. Further, local communities have been facing a variety of other threats: urbanisation, ageing etc. and are on the verge of collapse in many areas.
So, can tourism help create and reinforce local communities?
(LinkedIn post 2019)