Wednesday, December 9th, 2015, the 2nd Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Research Center for Muslim Affairs Special Lecture took place at the Oita Bank Sorinkan.
The title of the lecture was “Attracting Tourists from the Muslim World - A Leading Example from Hitoyoshi city, Kumamoto Prefecture. The public and private sectors in Hitoyoshi have been working together in a forward-looking way to attract tourists from the Muslim World, which will be a key market of inbound tourists to Japan.
The lecture featured two speakers from Hitoyoshi City Hall: Koji Imoto, manager of the Tourism Promotion Division, and Shinichi Hagiwara, a specialist in the Industrial Promotion Office.
Attendees came from the food industry, tourism industry, and local government in Oita Prefecture and from universities inside and outside Oita Prefecture. There were 50 attendees in total.
The lecture outlined the farm-fresh production, wide area networking, and tourism development initiatives at the Hitoyoshi's halal advancement district, and explained the background of Hitoyoshi's efforts to attract Muslim tourists.
The attendees asked many questions, such as about the forms of travel Hitoyoshi is targeting (question from the organization FIT) and about Hitoyoshi's responses in the field of medical care. Mr. Hagiwara spoke passionately about the need to move forward with initiatives at the same time as studying halal and learning the basics and about the importance of accumulating personal experience. RCMA will continue to hold seminars like this one.