TOURISM TRADE INDUSTRY 1
Tourism trade industry
The tourism industry is no question one of the most significantcontributors to any nation’s economic development (Smith, 2012). Atthe same time, the industry has been rated as one of the sectorswhich need maximum attention in terms of development and sustenance.In fact, some countries such as Japan continue to invest billions ofdollars to market their tourism attractions as well as buildframeworks for promoting tourism. As such, it is imperative todevelop tourism in order for people to identify with the country aswell as create development and employment for people. For a start,there are two major forms of tourism, which are local tourism andinternational tourism. Of these two, many countries are focusing moreon developing international tourism, as it helps the country earnmore foreign exchange. Japan, one of the world’s major touristtravel country, is on the verge of hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics.As such, the country has invested in promoting international tourismsin preparation for the event. As such, the country has found need torestructure its tourism industry by changing the formula foroperation, coming up with new strategies and reorganizing itsindustry’s policies. This trend has influenced other nationsworldwide, as they look to promote international tourism. In thisregards, this paper looks at the future of international tourismpromotion as evaluated by Zhang & McCornac.
Japan is one of the world’s main tourist attractions. Formed by anumber of highlands, which create a unique geographical scene, thecountry’s tourism industry is one of the strongest in the entireworld. The country’s tourism sector is made strong by itsun-ignorable regional economic factors, unique culture, hospitality,international events and tourism policies (Smith, 2012). Similarly,Zhang & McCornac (2014) say that geographic concentration is oneof the most remarkable features of foreign tourism in the country.This gives a large potential for the country to increase the numberof its international tourists by taking advantage of its physicalfeatures, while at the same time, maximizing on the hospitality ofits people. The people’s unique culture itself is a supportingfactor, as most people from around the world visit them to study,learn and perhaps practice their practices. At the same time, theJapanese government has made a lot of investment into improving thesector, and has been keen on solving technical and fiscal challengesthat may bring down the industry. As of today, the country keepsperforming well in the tourism sector, and has been a guiding figurefor many other countries in the development of the same, byinfluencing the major trends in international tourism.
CurrentTrend in Japan
According to Zhang & McCornac, over the last few years, there hasbeen a steady increase in the number of tourists visiting Japan(2014). This is especially facilitated by the Visit japanCampaign, which was initiated 12 years ago. This was one of theseveral programs that were initiated by the Japanese government tohelp boost the Japanese tourism industry. Up to date, there has beenan increase of over 10 million visitors per year to the county. Thishelped the country to significantly increase its revenue from theindustry by double figures, making the tourism sector even strongerthan before. However, there was a slight decline of visitors as thedecade commenced, there was a slight decline in the number ofvisitors, occasioned by the infamous swine flu, which affected theentire Asian industry (Page, Song & Wu, 2011). The numbers beganrising only after the country was awarded the 2020 ticket to host theOlympics.
One of the reasons behind the country’s comeback in the tourismindustry was the government’s efforts to promote internationaltourism. Strengthening the industry by focusing on improvinginternational tourism was designed to foster the country’s economicrecovery. According to Zhang & McCornac (2014), “a healthyeconomy should be diverse and stand on a foundation of many factors”.As such, the government realized that tourism played a crucial rolein economic diversity, and once the number of international touristswent down, it realized that strengthening the industry by promotingits international aspect was a viable solution. In order to fullyachieve this, the government decided to revise its policy frameworkand improve the existing practices. This led to the country’stourism sector changing from the traditional forms of tourismpromotion, which generalized both local and regional tourism, to aninternational-focused marketing approach, whose main objective is toattract more international tourists (Zhang & McCornac, 2014).According to Guo, Liu & Guo (2012), this trend is most likely tofeature in future tourism-marketing strategies across the world, ascountries have come to realize the importance of attracting moreinternational tourists. In fact, Zhang & McCornac (2014) assertthat the country has initiated robust programs aimed at transformingtourism in Japan especially in terms of market orientation andinbound frameworks. The country as noted earlier has moved fromconventional forms of strategy and marketing to internationaloriented approaches, which have helped Japan’s image as a worlddestination.
Discussionof future trend
Iagree with the author, that in order to strengthen the tourismindustry, there is need for a country to boost its inbound tourism.Across the world, countries have focused more on inbound tourism thanoutbound tourism, or local tourism. This helps the countries torealize high values of international tourists, who are the mainsource of foreign exchange income. Over the past few years, Japan hasbeen on the record for outdoing its main tourism industrycompetitors, by having more inbound tourists. In 2014, Asian touristtravelers to Japan increased in ratios that the country beat itscloses rivals, Europe and America (humblebunny.com, 2015). Thisbecause the country invested in improving dynamics that attractedinternational tourists, such as revising tourism policies andaddressing issues that were challenging the sector. For instance, thecountry set upon lowering the fees paid by international tourists,and boosting its hospitality sector.
Whilstpromoting inbound tourism, hence, international tourism, there isneed to formulate means of accommodating tourists from severaldifferent geographical locations. One way of doing this isstrengthening foreign languages. According to Zhang & McCornac(2014), Japan, through the recommendations of the White Paper forTourism 2014, prioritized the same. Today, many other countries havefollowed the trend of teaching their tourism industry employeesvarious international languages. Strengthening foreign languageincreases the number of individuals who can take care of the inboundtourists by speaking their language (Kot, Grabara & Kolcun,2014). This helps make the tourists feel comfortable spending theirstay, and at the same time, recommending the same to theircountry-men. Over the past five years, the number of internationallanguages being taught in foreign countries for the purposes ofpromoting tourism has increased significantly (Kot et al., 2014).Some of the leading languages that are being taught in foreigncountries include English, Chinese, French, Chinese, Indian, Spanishand Kiswahili. At the same time, the education and tourism sectors inmany countries have collaborated to promote the teaching of foreignlanguage as a strategy to boost international tourism/inboundtourism.
Smith(2012) says that one of the contributing factors to internationaltourism trends is the recognition of global cultures. In the past,one of the issues that negatively impacted international tourism wasmono-ethnicity, or phobias developed against foreigners. As such,most countries found themselves making a large percentage of tourismrevenue from their own local tourists. However, there has been aninternational trend of boosting international tourism by teaching thepeople to understand and cope with the foreigners’ cultures.According to Smith (2012), this has been driven by the need by thecountries to improve their citizens’ intercultural awareness andpromoting intercultural communication education. The trend has seento the increase of linguistic and cultural show-centers, which areopen to the public with the intention of exposing them to foreigncultures. As such, I agree with Zhang & McCornac that the futureof establishing different policies and programs to improveinternational tourism is one of the major global industrial trendsthat is set to change the future of the industry. One cannot arguewith the notion presented that tourism transform societies in Japanand will continue doing so in the near future. In fact, it is rightlycorrect to assume that the cultivation of robust strategies willcontinue to change the tourism scape in the country.
The global tourism industry is driven by a number of trends, whichdetermine the performance of countries. Given that the sector isranked as one of the biggest contributors to the economy in almostevery country across the world, governments ensure that they investenough to support and develop it. As such, following and keeping upwith international trends is one of the endeavors and key performanceindicators for the industry across the world. Japan, being one of theleading tourist destinations, is from time to time in the forefrontin setting industrial trends, which are followed by other countries.The country has recently embarked on promoting inbound tourism, byformulating strategies and policies to promote international tourism.This effort has taken the direction of policy review, investments andinnovation to keep the number of visitors increasing. As such, thetrend of attracting foreign tourist has taken over the internationaltourism industry, and is set to determine the success of nations overthe coming years in this lucrative industry. In addition, thepeople’s distinctive culture has become a supporting factor in thedrive to promote tourism, as most people from around the world visitJapan to study, learn and perhaps practice the practices of Japanese.At the same time, the Japanese tourism board together with thegovernment has made major investments into improving the sector, andhas been profound on resolving technical and monetary challenges thatmay bring down the industry. As such, Zhang & McCornac present acomprehensive study on the reason behind the increased number oftourists flocking Japan thus, remarkable growth and investment inthe tourism industry.
Guo, W., Liu, Y., & Guo, H.(2012). Research on Inbound Tourist Market of Liaoning Province Basedon Tourism Background Trend Line. In InformationComputing and Applications (pp.783-788). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Humblebunny.com. (2015). Opportunity in Japan’s travel &tourism industry. Retrieved on 25 June 2015 from:http://www.humblebunny.com/opportunity-japan-travel-tourism-industry/
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Page, S., Song, H., & Wu, D. C.(2011). Assessing the impacts of the global economic crisis and swineflu on inbound tourism demand in the United Kingdom. Journalof Travel Research,0047287511400754.
Smith, V. L. (Ed.). (2012). Hostsand guests: The anthropology of tourism.University of Pennsylvania Press.
Zhang, R. & McCornac, D.C. (2014). Challenges for theinternational tourism industry in Japan-An agent for economicrecovery and development. Journal of Tourism, Culture andTerritorial Development. 10: 109-124.