International travelers to Japan increased from 8.6 million in 2010 to just shy of 32 million in 2019. Then came 2020. Now, with the pandemic reducing international tourism to near zero, what’s next for Japan’s travel industry?
Our guest today is Alex Kerr, best known for his books “Lost Japan” and “Dogs and Demons.” Through his work in Shikoku’s Iya Valley and Kyoto’s teahouse districts, Alex has become one of the country’s pioneers of new models of heritage-based and sustainable tourism.
In this episode we’ll be discussing what a sustainable future for Japan’s tourism could look like, and whether COVID-19 offers a space to reflect and reimagine the industry, or whether the country will regress to old habits and unsustainable practices as soon as it’s over.
- Foreign visitors drop 99% from year earlier for sixth straight month (The Japan Times)
- Getting the wheels back on Japan’s travel industry (Alex Martin, The Japan Times)
- Tourism’s effect on historic cities and sites in focus as global conference kicks off in Kyoto (Eric Johnston, The Japan Times)
- Japan is struggling to deal with the foreign tourism boom (Philip Brasor, The Japan Times)
- Photo Essay: Tokyo without tourists (Oscar Boyd, The Japan Times)
- Pandemic derails Abe’s strategy to revive regional Japan with tourism (Reuters)
On this episode:
Finding the Heart Sutra
Alex Kerr’s new book “Finding the Heart Sutra” will be published Nov. 26, 2020, by Penguin. This book brings together Buddhist teaching, talks with friends and mentors, and acute cultural insights to probe the universe of thought contained within the “Heart Sutra.”
Sign up to the Deep Dive mailing list and be notified every time a new episode comes out. Get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Support the show! Rate us, review us and share this episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. Follow us on Twitter, and give us feedback.
This episode of Deep Dive may be supported by advertising based on your location. Advertising is sourced by Audioboom and is not affiliated with The Japan Times.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.