Jul 31, 2018

Seminar Report: “Cold opportunity for Hot spring? Stakeholder cooperation for Beppu tourism development”

On June 20 (Wed), the “RCAPS Current Research Seminar” was delivered by Professor LEE Timothy of APU APS.

This seminar took place as part of the “Spring 2018 RCAPS Current Research Seminar Series” where 5 APU faculty members who had been on Academic Develop Leave (ADL) in AY 2017 for the purpose of furthering research in or out of Japan and have since returned to present their research findings.

Professor LEE Timothy conducted his research mainly in Australia, South Korea, Thailand and Finland during his ADL in spring 2017.

[Report by Professor LEE Timothy (APS)]

This seminar aimed to provide the comprehensive understanding and opportunities about development of the hot-spring-related tourism industry with the case of Beppu. The Japanese hot-springs have been widely recognized as a strongly unique leisure facility worldwide with a range of interesting characteristics in health and social perspectives. However, the research on the management of hot-springs have been highly limited in domestic Japanese perspectives. This seminar suggested valuable recommendations for sustainable tourism development of Beppu from the viewpoints of international tourists who visit the well-known hot-springs destination.

The seminar started by reviewing the academic literature about the development of hot-springs industry in the past decades and current situation in Japan. Then it moved to the case study of Beppu with survey outcomes from foreigners’ perceptions on the hot-springs, and SWOT analysis. It offered deeper insights to the topic of the hot-springs development as a way of maximizing unique natural resources to attract health-oriented tourists. The seminar was concluded by discussion on the challenges and opportunities and provided recommendations particularly focused on the stakeholder cooperation in the Beppu hot-springs industry.

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