Tourism Kingdom Miyagi Omotenashi Awards!!!
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan hit a record high of 13,416,000 in 2014. Japan aims at ”Tourism Nation” and tries to have 20 million visitors from oversea countries in 2020.
As the whole nation makes commitment toward the Tourism Nation, here, Miyagi has started its own efforts.
One of them is the “Tourism Kingdom Miyagi Omotenashi (hospitality) Awards.”
The awards was established this year to raise hospitality quality and encourage tourism industry in Miyagi.
On January 28, 2015, its awards ceremony took place at Miyagi prefectural office.
In 2013, the award-winning council published the Minamisanriku Ten Ten Map which shows locations of local stores. The map has helped both businesses who struggle to draw customers after the 2011 disaster and tourists who want to support those who were affected in Minamisanriku.
Minamisanriku Ten Ten Map has blank spaces where you can put a stamp at each store, so that tourists can get additional fun to visit multiple places.
Proposer of this map, Hotel Kanyo’s Noriko Abe noted that though they faced some difficulties to produce the map since some stores were not able to prepare their pictures due to the damages by the tsunami, but they have received great response from lots of tourists.
Miyagi governor Murai pointed out that most tourists from oversea countries visit the Kantō region and the number of visitors to Miyagi remains low. He hopes the prefecture to be more competitive as the Tourism Kingdom Miyagi.
Besides the grand award, there are also encouragement awards which are given to distinguished efforts that can be a role model for local revitalization through tourism, and a special award for efforts that is basic but can be easily applied to other places.
Total eight organizations received awards.
The Tourism Kingdom Miyagi Omotenashi Awards is planned to take place again in the following year. If Miyagi’s tourism industry works on new projects to enhance their hospitality, Miyagi’s hospitality quality will rise as a whole.
-Fumiya Takahashi, ariTV