Tourism Strategy Study Group
Seventh Tourism Strategy Study Group: Hisao Taki, Chairman and Representative Director/CEO, founder, Gurunavi Inc.
While working in planning and sales of transportation advertising inside railway stations, Taki was quick to notice the possibilities of the Internet. Shortly thereafter, he launched the restaurant and bar search site Gurunavi and founded Gurunavi Inc. Not only does Gurunavi Inc. operate the Gurunavi site, based on its corporate mission of preserving and growing Japan's dietary culture, it offers various services, including Let's Enjoy TOKYO, a site providing information on activities and events in Tokyo. It plays a central role in LIVE JAPAN, an information site for foreign visitors to Japan.
In his lecture, Mr. Taki discussed Gurunavi's businesses and its public art initiatives and recommended the following as strategies for Building Attractions in Tokyo: 1. Measures drawing on culture (proactively taking advantage of historical structures and cultural heritage); 2. Measures to stimulate nightlife (promoting nighttime use of parks, art museums, historical museums, and other facilities, promoting operation of food trucks in parks); and 3. Measures to link Tokyo to provincial areas through its restaurants and bars (setting up spaces to provide introductions to rural areas and measures to use the Hometown Tax system to contribute to Tokyo).
Mr. Taki also gave an overview of the Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza, an international exchange center at the Tokyo Institute of Technology currently under construction based on the generous donations of Mr. Taki himself, and described efforts to enhance acceptance of international students. He also described issues related to topics such as what initiatives would benefit international students, addressing the value of international students as critical to Japan's future.