Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization
The tourism industry provides the intrepid traveler with a challenging atmosphere while working to ensure one’s comfort. Additionally, the tourism industry influences a wide range of economic areas. In many regions it creates new industries and jobs by increasing the exchange population, thus ensuring the vitality of those regions. In this respect there is great hope that tourism will have high potential for development in Kyushu, with its wealth of tourist attractions.
From another viewpoint, it is hoped that Kyushu–being historically and geographically close to East Asia, which is developing as the new core of a global economy–will serve as a gateway to Asia. In each region of Kyushu the community residents, private organizations, local government and others have been engaged in regional construction projects and activities related to tourist sites. However, looking at the trend in tourism over the past few years, compared with the upward trend in the number of tourists visiting Hokkaido and Okinawa, the number of tourists visiting Kyushu areas has decreased.
It is therefore important for all of Kyushu to combine forces for the restoration of Kyushu tourism by intensively working out strategies. We must not miss the opportunity, particularly when infrastructure for tourism, such as the Kyushu Shinkansen and Kyushu National Museum, has been provided. Under these circumstances the local governments and private sectors in Kyushu have jointly established the Kyushu Area Strategy Conference in October 2003 (Chairman Wataru Aso, also Chairman of the Governor’s Association of Kyushu Region; Vice Chairman Michisada Kamata, also Chairman of the Kyushu-Yamaguchi Economic Federation) under the spirit of “Kyushu as One,” having as its goal regional self-reliance and Kyushu-wide economic development. The Conference has resolved to formulate a Kyushu tourism strategy as a part of its activities.
Accordingly, the Kyushu Tourism Strategy Committee (Chairman Kouji Tanaka, also Chairman of JR Kyushu) was established in January 2004 as a means to identify which strategy was to be followed by all of Kyushu for the enhancement of tourism. The Committee also devised the “Kyushu Tourism Strategy” in October of that year. Furthermore, we will establish the Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization with the understanding and support of all quarters and all levels of the community with a view toward the practical implementation of the strategy. This will include preparations for receiving tourists as we realize the theme of “Kyushu, Tourist Kingdom,” and activities to attract tourists targeting domestic and international major markets such as domestic metropolitan areas and countries of East Asia.