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The industrial tourism business in Nagoya will have a new mission in fiscal 2015. Museums and activity centers will begin tracking visitors’ nationalities in order to target them better.

The city hopes to draw more tourists by offering announcements and printed information in foreign languages.

The Aichi Museum and Industrial Sightseeing Conference, also known as Amic, and the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce & Industry are trying how to determine a visitor’s nationality without asking directly, which they say could offend them.

There are 29 facilities registered with Amic, including Toyota Automobile Museum and Nagoya City Science Museum.

The car museum has provided pamphlets in 16 languages since it opened in 1989.

Counting the number taken provides a rough estimate of the visitors’ nationalities.

Based on fiscal 2013 data, the most popular language is English, followed by Chinese (Mandarin) and Korean. Taiwan came fourth and Thai rounded up the top five.

“Hearing the visitors praise Toyota as they enjoy the museum visit always gives me a boost of confidence,” said Yumiko Nasu, a 26-year-old receptionist.

Museum Meijimura, an open-air architectural museum in nearby Inuyama asks visitors to write their nationality in applications for advance booking at travel agencies.

“We can find out where the visitors come from beforehand and will also double check at the admission counter when they arrive,” said a representative.

However, not all members of Amic have such definite measures in place to analyze visitors by nationality. So the group is taking suggestions.

One example is that proposed by an employee at NTT West Corp.’s Hikari Life Showroom in Nagoya: “Giving visitors complimentary gifts if they show us their passports.”

It is also difficult to determine someone’s nationality by language alone. For a unified approach, Amic aims to provide several methods companies can use to acquire the data by the end of fiscal 2014 in March. Members can then begin compiling the data for fiscal 2015.

“If we know their nationalities, it will not only help us in creating proper announcements and notices, but also in providing menus and souvenirs catered to the likes and customs of each country,” said Amic chief Hiroshi Suda, who also advises the Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai).

“This will increase the potential of attracting repeat customers,” he explained.

This section, appearing Saturdays, features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published on Dec. 26.

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