Recreating the Place: Video-Sharing Websites and the Promotion of Domestic Tourism in the Concurrent Trend of Popular Media-Induced Tourism and Local Mascots in Japan

Recreating the Place: Video-Sharing Websites and the Promotion of Domestic Tourism in the Concurrent Trend of Popular Media-Induced Tourism and Local Mascots in Japan

Tzung-De Lin (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8577-2.ch015
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Abstract

The development and uptake of information and communication technologies have provided tourism industries innovative opportunities to interact with potential tourists. Instead of focusing on the development and implementation of new technological tools with which much E-tourism research is concerned, this paper examines a case of tourism promotion in Japan made possible by the spread of video-sharing websites. The case shows a nontraditional, non-intuitive strategy. It reaches potential tourists and gains nationwide visibility at a relatively low cost by producing videos featuring an unappealing character who symbolizes the destination: Hakodate City. This strategy of promoting domestic tourism was preceded by other two popular strategies of tourism promotion in Japan, and the case is compared with them: popular media-induced tourism, particularly anime tourism, and local mascots.
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Anime Tourism

Although anime tourism has grown in popularity in recent years, its history can be traced to earlier decades. Anime tourism begins with potential tourists’ experiences of watching anime, reading manga (Japanese term for comic books), or playing video games. The streets, buildings, and landscapes shown in the above-mentioned media inspire some of the audience willing to travel to the place, thus turning these consumers of anime-related contents into tourists. The late 1980s saw, for example, stores using cartoonists of local origin as a selling point and also for town revitalization. Physical models of characters from certain manga written and drawn by those cartoonists were put on streets, trains and buses were decorated with images of manga characters, and events related to either those cartoonists or characters of their creation were held. For some thirty recorded instances of anime tourism in Japan, most took place at places where certain cartoonists were born or where stories unfolded (Yamamura, 2011, p. 25).

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