Investigating tourism as a strategy of recovery from natural disasters in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan
Prof. Kazuo Nozu, Tokai University, Japan
1 Apr 2018 – 31 Mar 2019
Endowment Fund Research Grant 2017-18, United College, CUHK
Tourism has a reciprocal relationship with natural disasters. The study aims to investigate the role of tourism as a strategy in the disaster phases based on Faulkner (2001) and Ritchie (2004)’s disaster management frameworks in the case of the earthquake occurred in Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan in April 2016. The analysis was based on interviews with twelve informants and stakeholders in tourism development collected in Kumamoto in summer 2018. The results suggest that the tourism industry contributes differently across the phases of a disaster but is mainly significant in terms of information provisions, communications and emergency accommodations for tourists. More fundamental changes may be observed in the long-term recovery and resolution phases, whereby tourism is most important in information collection, experience learning in disaster, institutional reform and strategy of sustainable tourism development and poster-disaster destination marketing.
The study further advances the existing disaster management framework through the enrichment of knowledge from tourism stakeholder perspective. Empirically, the research findings inform tourism development and sustainability strategy of Kumamoto area after a rarely occurred earthquake disaster.