Impact of the Shrinking and Aging of the Population on Tourism: National and Regional Policies Needed in Response

Yanghee Lee
The Japanese Journal of Regional Policy Studies  
In this paper, I analyze the impact of a shrinking and aging population on tourism from the standpoint of the aging of tourists and those who serve them. The results of this analysis indicate that reductions in the number of overnight stays by tourists at inns and hotels and a downswing in the number of young Japanese traveling overseas reflect the effects of the country's declining population. In addition, I describe the challenges posed by the aging of workers in tourism and related
more » ... based on examples from the town of Kitahiroshima and the city of Shobara, both in Hiroshima Prefecture. While it is not possible to resolve the problems of population decline and aging through the promotion of tourism alone, the hidden potential of tourism to expand interchanges and revitalize regions highlights the need for national and regional governments to focus on efforts to nurture that industry, for example by promoting domestic travel, while simultaneously encouraging inbound tourism.
doi:10.32186/ncs.16.0_4 fatcat:hd243jhksrcypi4jhnud65dgea