This case study research uses a multimodal analytical approach, drawing on three main sources of data: a small scale qualitative in-person survey conducted with foreign tourists visiting Kyoto pre-pandemic, designed to understand tourists’ motivations for visiting Kyoto and its appeal to foreign visitors; interviews with Kyoto’s tourism bodies; and official statistical data for tourism to Kyoto and Japan as a whole. For the analysis of the survey and interview data, the author uses grounded theory to categorise and synthesise data. Combined with statistics on foreign tourism activity in the region, the methods triangulates tourist behaviour and motivation. The study found that tourists are attracted to Kyoto as a destination because of its international fame and reputation for being an example of “real Japan”. This reputation and source of motivation is well-known.However, unique to this study is the finding that tourists have no specific knowledge of Kyoto prior to visiting beyond this understanding that it is authentic. Interviews with Kyoto’s tourism bodies pre-Covid found that tourism is disproportionately centred on Kyoto city, with few foreign tourists visiting the wider prefecture. While these associations want to see foreign tourism in these other areas, little is being done to leverage the potential of the areas. The research suggests that since tourists have no knowledge of Kyoto beyond its “authenticity”, post-Covid tourism bodies could promote destinations outside the city to alleviate the pressure on central Kyoto. The findings are significant because they show that the motivation for visiting Kyoto is vague and not based on specific knowledge, rather the desire to see “Authentic Japan”, a term itself that is deserving of future research. Tourism bodies, DMOs and local governments would benefit from better leveraging of the term “authenticity”, and promote itineraries and destinations that are equally “authentic”. Future research should investigate whether foreign tourism in Kyoto prefecture increases, and whether it leads to a decline in overtourism in the city.
|Publication status||Published - 21 May 2021|
|Event||TOURMAN 2021: 4th International Scientific Conference "Restarting tourism, travel and hospitality: The day after" - International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece|
Duration: 21 May 2021 → 23 May 2021
|Conference||TOURMAN 2021: 4th International Scientific Conference "Restarting tourism, travel and hospitality: The day after"|
|Period||21/05/21 → 23/05/21|