About the Project
About the Project
Based on a request from the Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, Tokyo Metropolitan University promotes the Tourism Strategy Research Project.
As Governor Koike aims to make Tokyo the world's top tourist destination, in April 2017, she requested Tokyo Metropolitan University to promote activities to contribute for this purpose.
Having pondered on what Tokyo Metropolitan University can or should do to meet this request, we came to a conclusion that a suitable tourism strategy for us is to research future-oriented city (urban) tourism thoroughly and to develop young people's ability for creating innovative tourism business leads to future. Thus, we've started concrete preparations.
Below is an outline of the project. It consists of three pillars: (1) Tourism Strategy Study Group; (2) Practical Tourism Study and Field Trips; and (3) Human Resource Development for Tourism Venture
II. Tourism Strategy Study Group: Research on City Tourism for the New Era
1. Tourism for the New Era
Tourism in Japan has been standardized on mass production-type tourism model which Mr. David Atkinson pointed out as “Showa Tourism." Showa Tourism arose as a result of the rapid population increase in Japan that led to the provision of standardized mass production-type services and sales of goods in response to increased demand.
From now on, great changes can be expected. The population will decline, the aging society will be continuing, and globalization will progress significantly. In order to develop tourism under these situations, it will be necessary to provide high-quality services which the tourists enjoy and make them to feel like to experience again as repeaters. We have set up the Tourism Strategy Study Group to research such tourism.
2. Tourism Strategy Study Group
To conduct wide-ranging, multi-faceted and deep research on how tourism should be in the new age, we will invite experts and opinion leaders from various fields and hold meetings of the Tourism Strategy Study Group monthly. Q&A session, followed by a lecture, the participants will deepen their knowledge. Generally, the meetings of the Study Group will be held from 2.00p.m. to 4.00p.m. on weekdays.
The themes of the meeting will be selected from a wide range of areas such as tourism strategy and its trends in Japan and abroad, Tokyo's tourism policies and its results, roles of tourism industry and possibilities for its development, various situations and challenges of tourism industry for example the development and use of various apps, food, culture and entertainment as important contents of city (urban) tourism, research on popular urban spots, night-time city tourism and lighting up, accommodation facilities and services for the hotels and Japanese inns (ryokans) that form the core infrastructure, coordination between Tokyo and regions nationwide, ant Tokyo's functions as a hub city and its networking with the rest of Japan. Participants will be given a general view as well as learning about specific situations.
Participants in the Group includes lecturers and advisers, facilitators supporting the project's plan and operation, representatives from industry who agree with the aims of the project, those who aim to start up venture businesses, students who share awareness of these issues, and the Secretariat staffs.
III. Practical Tourism Study and Field Trips
1. Observation of Tourist Sites and Practical Study
In addition to the above-mentioned Tourism Strategy Group, in which participants will learn both an overall picture and expertise knowledge of tourism from distinguished lecturers, they will visit and observe tourist sites. Participants will visit sites where companies or organizations are conducting tourism-related operations and observe and learn from projects they are planning or actually conducting. They will also visit and observe unique tourist venues in Tokyo and the nightlife or popular tourist spots that characterize urban tourism. If it is necessary, special observation projects would be planned, such as visits to instructive tourist spot or operations in Japan and overseas.
2. Practical Tourism Study and Field Trips
Having formed “Practical Tourism Study and Field Trips" to carry out the above-mentioned program, observation meetings or training meetings will be held about once every two months. The participants in this Tourism Strategy Project can join the Trips. They will learn from persons of the companies promoting tourism-related projects, who will explain these projects or programs on site.
We hope that the corporations taking part in this project will provide opportunities for participants to study at the tourist sites. Regarding the special observation projects involving visits to places in Japan or overseas, we will consider the details together with the participants as appropriate.
IV. Entrepreneur Training Program
1. Entrepreneur Training
As an educational and research institution, this project will recruit prospective human resources who want to create unique future-oriented tourism projects to promote tourism in Tokyo. These participants will conceive venture projects as entrepreneurs and we will provide them with every possible kind of support to bring these projects to fruition.
These young venture entrepreneurs will take a strong interest in creating diverse and useful apps based on unique ideas, and will discover their own speciality. From a global perspective, Tokyo is a city symbolizing Japan, but those who actually visit Japan find that rich tourism resources exist all over the country. There are limitless possibilities for various networks and provision of information to ensure that visiting Tokyo also leads to rich tourist experiences in Japan as a whole. The opening up of such possibilities through the unique sensibilities of the young participants is something we can expect from these entrepreneurs.
Rather than a field that many companies or people have entered or a business model they have adopted, the most important thing for an entrepreneur is to conceive or discover a new field or to create a business model that has no precedent. In other words, the entrepreneur should not create a red ocean, but his or her own unique blue ocean.
This cannot be realized with an idea alone. Strong and persistent efforts are needed to determine one's field of interest from a wide perspective, to be very familiar with it, to understand the efforts of those who are trying to create a business model, to discover an unexplored area, and to create economically rational business model that is unprecedented and acceptable to consumers.
To facilitate the diligent efforts needed to achieve this, this project will set up an “Ideathon" and provide support for the self-discipline of motivated people. “Ideathon" is a coined word for “idea" and “marathon." Its aim is the discovery of new ideas and business plans through dialogue among diverse members concerning specific set themes. In this way, the venture entrepreneurs can stimulate, teach and learn from each other through free and vigorous discussion.
Entrepreneurs are always striving to create something new, but it is difficult to create something from nothing. In our Ideathon, persons who have already achieved results as venture entrepreneurs will participate so that young people aspiring to be entrepreneurs can utilize and come into contact with their diligent efforts. By having young people who aspire to grow through these discussions take part according to their wishes, we aim to broaden blue ocean creation activities.
In order to contribute to the expansion of these activities, the advisers, supporting companies, the officials of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the teaching staffs and students of Tokyo Metropolitan University will take part as appropriate as observers and participate in the discussions from their various standpoints. We hope that new “chemical reactions" will occur through their participation.
For the time being, we plan to hold the Ideathon in the evening once or twice a month. By providing these opportunities for free discussion and learning in a free format, we hope to promote the growth of the participants.
V. Contributing to the Sharp Growth of Tokyo's Tourist Business
By utilizing the knowledge, information and networks obtained through the comprehensive research, observation and training activities outlined above, this project aims to foster aspiring entrepreneurs capable of conceiving unique, future-oriented ideas. This original project for nurturing such human resources will undoubtedly provide unique and useful perspectives and hints for the large-scale tourism development project being promoted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It may also provide a practical stimulus and suggest new possibilities for the tourism education and academic research being promoted by Tokyo Metropolitan University.
While the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2020 will be one of the great events of the century, there are concerns that there will be an economic downturn after the Games. The fostering of human resources is the most important initiative to support the evolution of Tokyo into an even more high-quality and attractive city with the world's best tourist content appropriate for the new age. As the only comprehensive university established by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Metropolitan University will pour all of its energies into achieving this goal, with the participation and support of the industrial and other sectors.