(1) The Role That Should Be Played By International Tourism
With the rise in incomes levels and the increase in free time, Japanese people are beginning to call for spiritual sufficiency, such as a contentment and lust for life.
Against this background of changing national awareness, there was a large increase in the number of Japanese tourists traveling overseas (Fig.43), with the annual figure now exceeding 10 million.
International tourism contributes greatly to "a sense of richness in people's lives", and also plays a major role in mutual international understanding through exchange at a grass roots level. Thus, it is necessary to continue growth in overseas travel, while placing an emphasis on raising quality. It is also necessary, on the other hand, to promote travel by foreigners in Japan in order to deepen their understanding of the country and to develop friendship with regional areas through internationalization.
(2) Concrete Measures Required to Encourage International Tourism
(A) Promoting Foreign Tourism in Japan
(a) Improving and Strengthening Tourist Promotion Overseas
At present efforts are underway to grasp trends amongst foreign tourists and their needs, and detailed surveys and analysis are being carried out into the results.
The number of tourists visiting Japan from the Asian region has increased (Fig.44), and travel pamphlets are now being distributed with an emphasis on Asian countries such as Korea. The approach of JNTO tourist promotion offices in Asia is also being reviewed.
Promotions need to be undertaken of new travel menus covering areas of high interest, and it is necessary to present an accurate view of Japan to other countries, through introductions of its diverse sides including rural and daily life.
(b) Facilitating Travel By Foreigners In Japan
It is necessary to facilitate travel to Japan by further airport construction, the use of regional airports and charter flights to maintain costs.
It is also necessary to develop model areas for international tourism, further development of the an information system to provide comprehensive information services to foreign tourists (''i'' Information Bureaus), and the hotel and inn government registration system further in order to structure a system for encouraging foreign tourists.
(c) Increases in Opportunities For International Exchange
An International Convention City concept is now being promoted and a system established in designated cities - which have the ideal conditions to function as convention cities and systems have been established to attract international conferences.
Along with this concept exchange is also being promoted and developed at a citizen's level - foreign visitors can make visit to Japanese homes and experience Japanese people's daily lives through the home visit system. (Fig.45)
(B) Promotion of Japanese Travel Overseas
(a) Establishing an Environment Where Travel is Possible It is necessary to improve the potential "holiday" environment by increasing the two-day weekend and introducing the concept of vacations for refreshment purposes, and to strengthen tourist week campaigns.
(b) Facilitating Travel Overseas and Improving Services
Overseas fares should be moderated through use of charter flights, strengthening the system of reduced fares for individuals and family groups. Along with this, the transport system requires improvement, including further equipping of international airports and improving airport access.
More accurate information is required about trips overseas, and measures need to be taken to ensure traveler safety. It is also necessary to improve the disposition of travel agents to ensure better quality tour services.
(c) Raising the Quality of Overseas Travel
The number of people experienced in overseas travel are increasing (Fig.46) and in line with this needs that have existed until now, such as trips around standard tourist sites, and visits to the sea and mountains are decreasing. A new type of overseas travel need is increasing, such as spending extended periods in one spot, travel which will allow people to experience the life and customs of a particular region, and travel of fork arts and craft and music.
A trend of diversifying needs for people traveling overseas has now begun to show. (Fig.47)
A diversification of overseas travel is required to respond to these new sorts of travel needs with plans for individualistic and quality travel products.
Further understanding of overseas countries is also necessary.
Conferences should be held with the people compiling travel guides to ensure that the culture and society of foreign countries is accurately depicted.
Awareness about the manner of Japanese tourists also needs to be raised and dealt with as one link in travel education. An emphasis also needs to be placed on the production of a handbook introducing Japanese culture and history as a support for this type of exchange with people in other countries.
(3) Development of a Plan For Increasing Touristic Exchange
In order to implement the above measures, the Ministry of Transport drafted the "Ten Million Plan", a plan for increasing overseas travel by Japanese, in September 1987. The plan aimed at an annual figure of ten million people traveling overseas, and the goal was reached in 1990, one year sooner than expected.
Building on this achievement, in July 1991, a comprehensive action plan for international touristic exchange fitting with the needs of the 2lst Century was established "Two Way Tourism 21" a plan for increasing touristic exchange. The plan is now ready for implementation. (Table.3)