(The Yomiuri Teen’s Weekly: March 13, 2015 – p. 3)
Japanese communities are leveraging youth ingenuity to stimulate tourism. The Nara municipal government, for example, appoints local high school students as “special tourism correspondents” to promote the city as a tourist destination. These teenagers have been posting videos of city events on YouTube and showing high school student visitors around the city since the project started in 2008.
A national tourism competition also serves as a way to collect young people’s ideas on how to attract tourists. In 2014, entries were received from 131 students of 69 high schools across the country.
Some of the brilliant ideas submitted for the competition are actually being marketed. Last March, travel agency JTB commercialized the travel plan that won first prize in 2013. The proposal, submitted by Aichi Commerce High School in Aichi Prefecture, combines tours to local historical sites with the luxury of enjoying afternoon tea. (Abridged)