Quynh Hoa Nguyen, Vafadari Kazem

Main Article Content


Around the world, people travel to explore natural beauty, different cultures and social traditions. Much of this involves heritage tourism and this has become an important motivation for international travelers and contributes huge economic benefits to many countries. Besides, it can also bring positive impacts to the society, culture, and environment conservation of the country involved. The Japan Tourism National Promotion Basic Law (2006) states that culture and heritage are “the most important components of Japan tourism” and that Japan will emphasize its abilities to attract more international travelers and support conservation of cultural heritage [1]. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Japanese tourism has been damaged significantly and is forecasted to take a long time to recover. The local government shows its concerns about how to reduce the pandemic impacts on the society and economy and encourage international visitors to return. The “new normal” situation requires an insight of the changes in international tourists’ attitudes, traveling behavior and motivations. The experience of Japan could provide a model which other countries in the Asia and Pacific area might study. The research was conducted through in-depth interviews with Japanese government tourism policymakers and a quantitative survey of 211 responses from 43 countries and territories which was conducted from July 2019 to June 2020. From the findings, some recommendations for Japanese tourism innovation are proposed.

Keywords: Japanese heritage tourism, international tourists, post-COVID 19, tourism innovation, tourism policy, tourist behavior and motivation.


[[1] Japan Tourism National Promotion Basic Law, https://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/kankorikkoku/index.html, 2006 (accessed 10 December 2018).
[2] UNWTO, UNWTO Annual Report 2015, Madrid, World Tourism Organization, 2016.
[3] R.W. McIntosh, C.R. Goeldner, J.R.B. Ritchie, Pleasure Travel Motivation, in Tourism: Principles, Practices, Philosophies, 7th Edition, 1995, 167-190.
[4] B. Garrod, A. Fyall, “Managing Heritage Tourism,” Annals of Tourism Research, 27 (2000) 682-708. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0160-7383(99)00094-8
[5] P. Moli, “Community-based Eco Cultural Heritage Tourism for Sustainable Development in the Asian Region: A Conceptual Framework,” International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development, 2 (2011), 66-80. DOI: 10.4018/jsesd.2011040106
[6] M. Hall, McArthur, Integrated Heritage Management: Principle and Practice, Stationery Office, London, 1998.
[7] D. J. Timothy, Cultural Heritage and Tourism: An Introduction (Vol. 4), Channel View Publications, 2011.
[8] R. A. Stebbins, “Cultural Tourism as Serious Leisure,” Annals of Tourism Research 23 (1996) 4. 948-950. https://doi.org/10.1016/0160-7383(96)00028-X
[9] E. Avrami, “Making Historic Preservation Sustainable,” Journal of the American Planning Association, 82 (2016), 104-112.
[10] Chen, J. S., “Travel Motivation of Heritage Tourists,” Tourism Analysis, 2 (1998) 3-4, 213-215.
[11] D. J Timothy, S. W. Boyd, Heritage Tourism, Pearson Education, 2003.
[12] J. C. Confer, D. L. Kerstetter, “Past Perfect: Explorations of Heritage Tourism,” Parks and Recreation - West Virginia, 35 (2000), 28-34.
[13] Y. Poria, R. Butler, D. Airey, “Links between Tourists, Heritage, and Reasons for Visiting Heritage Sites,” Journal of Travel Research, 43 (2004), 19-28, https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287504265508
[14] D. J. Timothy, “Tourism and the Personal Heritage Experience,” Annals of Tourism Research, 24 (1997), 751-754. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0160-7383(97)00006-6
[15] E. Bruner, “Abraham Lincoln as Authentic Reproduction: A Critique of Postmodernism,” American Anthropologist, 96 (1994), 397-415. https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1994.96.2.02a00070
[16] P. S. Ho, B. McKercher, “Managing Heritage Resources as Tourism Products,” Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 9 (2004), 255-266.
[17] OECD, OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2016. OECD Publishing, Paris, 2016, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/tour-2016-en
[18] G. Aplin (ed.), Heritage - Identification, Conservation and Management, Oxford University Press, Victoria, Australia, 2002.
[19] B. Bramwell, B. Lane, “Collaboration and Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism,” Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 7 (1999), 179-181.
[20] B. Bramwell, A. Sharman, “Collaboration in Local Tourism Policymaking,” Annals of Tourism Research, 26 (1999) 392-415.
[21] D. J. Timothy, “Building Community Awareness of Tourism in a Developing Country Destination,” Tourism Recreation Research, 25 (2000), 111-116.
[22] A. Nilnoppakun, Aa, K. Ampavat, “Integrating Cultural and Nostalgia Tourism to Initiate a Quality Tourism Experiences at Chiangkan, Leuy Province, Thailand,” Procedia Economics and Finance, 23 (2015), 763-771.
[23] Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), https://www.tourism.jp/en/tourism-database/stats/inbound/ (accessed 9 October 2020).
[24] Nomura Research Institute, “Impact of COVID-19 on the Japanese Economy and Measures to Avoid Bottoming Out,” NRL Journal, December 21 2020, https://www.nri.com/en/journal/2020/1221 (accessed 24 December 2020).
[25] T. Khumalo, P. Sebatlelo, C. D. Van der Merwe, “‘Who is a Heritage Tourist?’ A Comparative Study of Constitution Hill and the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, Johannesburg, South Africa,” African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 3 (2014) 1, 1-13.
[26] A. K. B. Yankholmes, O. A. Akyeampong, “Tourists’ Perceptions of Heritage Tourism Development in Danish-Osu, Ghana,” International Journal of Tourism Research, 12 (2010) 603-616.
[27] C. F. Chen, P.C. Chen, “Another Look at the Heritage Tourism Experience,” Annals of Tourism Research, 41 (2013), 236-240.
[28] A. Lesley, E. Aguda, M. R. Tamayo, L. Barlan Jr., “Effects of Heritage Tourism to the Municipality of Taal, Batangas, Philippines,” Educational Research International Journal, 2 (2019), 91-95.
[29] E. D. Santa, A. Tiatco, “Tourism, Heritage and Cultural Performance: Developing a Modality of Heritage Tourism,” Tourism Management Pespectives, 31 (2019), 301-309.
[30] C. F. Chen, D. Tsai, D., “How Destination Image and Evaluative Factors Affect Behavioral Intentions?,” Tourism mManagement, 28 (2007), 1115-1122.
[31] V. W. Gaffar, H. P. Wetprasit, D. Setiyorini, “Comparative Study of Tourist Characteristics on Cultural Heritage Tourism Sites: Survey on Tourist in Indonesia and Thailand Heritage Sites,” Journal of Tourism, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, 3 (2011), 53-68.
[32] S. Lee, I. Phau, M. Hughes, Y. F. Li, V. Quintal, “Heritage Tourism in Singapore Chinatown: A Perceived Value Approach to Authenticity and Satisfaction,” Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing 33 (2016) 7. DOI: 10.1080/10548408.2015.1075459
[33] Statistical Handbook of Japan, https://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/handbook/, 2018 (accessed 9 October 2019).