Tourism analysis for Miyajima Island, Japan. Year 2001

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Tourism analysis for Miyajima Island, Japan. Final report for the course Sustainable Tourism Development II. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) - Univesity of Hiroshima. Year 2001.

Text of Tourism analysis for Miyajima Island, Japan. Year 2001

Tourism Analysis in Miyajima Island, JapanFinal Report for the course Sustainable Tourism Development IIJapan Internacional Cooperation Agency (JICA) Hiroshima University September, 2001


Miyajima could be consider as a magic island most visitors, discover the real beauty and Japanese charm while visiting sacred and religious places as Itsukushima shrine. Its located in the Seto inland National park, this location gives to the Island a beauty and extraordinary scenic quality. Legend tradition and history, is shown with the Itsukushima Shrine in front of the Otorii, five stored pagoda, all of them symbols of a large religious tradition. But Miyajima goes beyond than this, is in fact a Japanese nature treasure, as example could be Omigimanji Park. New ideas creativity and imagination makes presence a real traditional house became in to a folk materials house, is prove that culture tradition still live on a country which tend to be the leader in technology. Living culture makes its presence on the large number of festivals and events that Miyajima has every year. How can we imagine, such a place tend to decrease the number of visitors, several factors could explain that situation, but basically Japan as tradition do not care about the sector of the services, since japans economy is based on the big industry and technology, sectors as the tourism are quite of the forgotten by the central government and local authorities. Global tourism trends and new destination represent some of the many reasons because the island has less visitors every year. Is important to emphasise that Miyajima do not promote it self on the international markets. Its dependency on the surrounding prefectures and international promoted cities, makes to Miyajima a second or third final turistic destination. The present research is orientated to analyse the environmental problems besides the market and promotional problems, the cultural and natural sustainability of the island. Its understandable the short time that this work has taken, the results should give and approach for the solution of the several problems that Miyajima faces now a days.


CHAPTER I: The Present Situation of Travel Market in Japan and Miyajima

A. Geographical Location of Japan and MiyajimaJapan is an island nation surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in the east, the sea of Japan in the west, the east China sea in the south and sea of Okhotsk in the North - off the coast of East Asia. The countries nearest Japan are Russia, China and republic of Korea. Most of among 6800 Japan islands are very small. Four islands make up 99.37% of the country. These are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. The land area of whole country is 378 thousand sq. km. 68% of which is mountains. Natural hot springs, gorgeous lakes and rivers, unique flora and fauna, mountain ranges with well-known Mount Fuji (3 776 m from s.l.). create recreation resources which attracting travelers. Only 13.3% of Japans land are cultivated for farming, which means that Japan is one of the largest importing countries of agriculture products in the world. The climate varies from icy Hokkaido in the north to the small subtropical islands of the south, the main zones are: subarctic, temperate and subtropical. Weather changes with the four seasons. Japan is home around 4000-6000 native species of plants. Sakura and Matsu are symbolic meaning of them. Some kinds of flowers and leaves are used in Japanese food, medicine, paper, tools, flower arranging, weaving, painting and ets. Japanese people generally feel close very close to the natural environment.


Picture 1 - Map of Japan


Japan with 126.64 million population is one of the most density populated country and ranks in 9th in the world. Most of people live on the heavily developed east coast or in the southern region. 26% of them lives in Tokyo, followed by Osaka and Nagoya. (please see tbl #6 page 8). Religious of Japan is Shinto and Buddhism.


Japan has a democratic system of government founded on the Constitution of Japan sometimes called peace constitution. . The national legislature is called the Diet. The diet has two houses: the House of Representatives and House of Councilors. Most national lows must be passed by both houses. The prime Minister is elected by the Diet.


Much economic strength is based on its manufacturing. Japan is just famous for the strength of its electrical equipment and electronics industries. Cars are best-known products, which are exported and driven all over the world. Japan is also world leader in telecommunications. Many of Japanese companies abroad have become part of their local communities, hiring employees and cooperate with local businesses. In 1997 Japanese companies had 2.83 mill employers in their oversees branches. In the past, tourists from abroad had a strong image of Japan as a country manufacturing products and typically visited only Kyotta, Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone. However there are many places where tourists can enjoy nature, history, and culture of Japan, experience its unique atmosphere, and get to meet the local people. Our study program mostly was concerned on Chugoku and Shikoku regions, that covers western site of the Honshu Island and the whole Shikoku island in south western Japan and of course Seto island sea dotted with thousand islands of all sizes and shapes and created beauty landscapes. 4

Miajima - is one of the islands in Seto Inland Sea located in the south west of Hiroshima Prefecture and in 20 from Hiroshima city. It worth to be mentioned that Miajima is located in the biggest National park of Japan named Seto Inland Sea National Park. The best period of visiting the island is autumn with picturesque colored nature and comfortable climate. The temperatures during spring varies between 7.7 C to 17.8 C, in summer it reaches up 26.9C. In Autumn 11.4C and in winter - 6.5 C. Miajima is one of Japans three most beautiful sights. It used to be called Itsukushima-cho till 1950 symbolizes the Island of god and Palace Shrine. Population is 2 220 people (as for 2000). The island is sightseeing spot visiting by more than 2.8 million people annually from Japan and abroad. The closest sites and attractions that are located outside of Miajima Island are located in Hiroshima City. Among them the most popular historical and natural sights are: Peace Memorial Park/A-bomb Dome Shukkein Garden Hiroshima muzeum of Art Hiroshima Castle

Picture 2 - Miyajima


B. Statistical Analysis of Japanese Tourism Market 1. Overseas Travel Market International Tourism and especially mass tourism became active from the 60-70 years 20th century. According to number of overseas travelers Japan ranks 10th in the world and is considered as a Tourism Generator Country* like as USA, UK, Germany, and Poland. Figure 1Hungary Holland Japan Canada France Italy Malaysia Czech Repubic Poland UK USA Germany0 10 20 30

Number of Travelers by country (as of 1998)12.3


The number of outbound travelers from Japan in 2000 was 17.80 million pax, which exceed the record 16.8 million set in 1997. Japanese people are always desirable customers for tour operator companies and travel agencies. The most frequent destinations for them are Korea, China, Mainland, USA, Hong Kong, Thailand. Expanded airline rout and increased number of flights cause the main factors of the positive growth of Japanese travelers towards mentioned above countries. Approximately half of the national population has been overseas at least once (only for tourism). Figure 2 Destinations of Japanese overseas travelers (Top ten countries, as of 2000)

15.8 17.6 18.1 19.3 25.6 43.6 49.3 50.8 56.3 69.240 50 60 70 80




South Korea1468


Tailand Taiwan Hong Kong700

845 811



Italy UK0

To analyze the Japanese overseas travel market, the largest segment is middle aged men, followed by married men and middle aged women taking trips most of all for tourism purposes. The majority of travelers spend five to seven through package tours 50.8% participate in package tour, and 34% arrange their own travel. Figure 3 The number of overseas travelers and foreign visitors of Japan (in thousand people)20000 18000 16000 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 3909 1113 4659 3582 2110 2355 3837 4757 8427 11791 16695 17819

The most popular activities at destinations are viewing natural and scenic attractions and shopping followed by historic and cultural attractions, gourmet sampling and others. Nearly 7








overseas travel ers

F orei vi tors gn si

half of overseas travelers visit travel agencies; Internet usage is around 3%. The total overseas travel expenditure per trip per person in 2000 was 309,000 yen. The elderly women are the biggest spenders with 397,000 yen followed by elderly men with 341,000 yen. Analyzing expenditures by destinations for travelers participating in package tours, the total expenditure was least for trips to East Asia at 182,000 yen. The most expensive destinations were Central and South America with 523,000 yen. Factors hindering overseas travel are: Language concerns; Security concerns; Fear of flight; Dislike of foreign food. 2. Inbound Tourism The situation of inbound tourism is different from outbound tourism. The number of visitors is 4.75 million and inbound travelers expenditures is US$ 3.7 billion. (#27 in the world). Natural environment, hospitality people, cultural & historical resources of the islands of Japan attracts travelers. But there is not desirable number of foreign tourists