On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, a tourism management seminar entitled “Tourism and Finance” was held at APU. Invited speakers were Mr. Hideto Tago, Mr. Takuya Okamoto and Mr. Masahiro Kondo (Research Institute for Regional Attraction) and Mr. Takehiro Yanagi (ABeam Consulting, Ltd.). Participants included APU faculty and students, as well as tourism and finance-related professionals from Beppu and Oita.
To prepare for the seminar, the guest speakers visited financial institutions related to the tourism industry and conducted interviews regarding the current climate of loans and investments. They also interviewed hotel and Japanese inn owners who receive financing to learn what their current circumstances are. Basing their seminar on these investigations, the guest speakers spoke about financial issues the Japanese tourism industry is facing and made recommendations for future directions to take. The speakers also presented case studies of regional financial institutions that are working to develop and revitalize areas where tourism is the main industry.
This seminar was a good opportunity to remind participants that tourism is an important industry for promoting local resources as attractive products to visitors. In the Q & A session that followed, the audience and speakers actively exchanged ideas about how to apply lessons learned from the case studies presented to promote development and solve problems in Oita Prefecture, where circumstances are different.