This panel has been opened to facilitate a discussion of international tourism in remote areas. The main focus of this panel will be on local globalization, recovery of tradition, sustainable development and community-based resilience. Speakers from all countries are welcomed.
This panel has been established with the aim of discussing the various ways of globalizing tourism being used around the world. Generally speaking, international tourism has been focused on urban or resort areas. In the case of Japan, facilities and attractions for international visitors have been concentrated around large cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto.
Beyond Japan, the "high culture" attractions tourists seek are concentrated in large cities in many counties. However, indigenous peoples and rural cultures are playing increasingly important roles in attracting tourism to remote areas. These unique cultures are central to SIT (Special Interest Tourism), and help generate sustainable benefits, keep societies in balance with nature, and revitalize local communities.
The trend in tourism is away from mass-tourism toward individually tailored trips, increasing the popularity of SIT. Traditional farmhouses in rural areas, which were once abandoned, are now often refurbished for use as accommodations, cafes and souvenir shops. Sometimes the rural way of life itself attracts urban residents, both domestically and internationally.
In the same manner, traditional indigenous life in remote areas is of increasing interest to international visitors. Indigenous cultures such as the Inuit, Ainu and Australian Aborigines are important attractions to SIT tourists. Often, an understanding of indigenous life is a good way to learn about the local environment and ecosystem in a practical manner.