13 cities and 9 towns in the Harima region in Hyogo Pref. formed a wide-area cooperative conference and set up an inbound tourism project review team to launch various inbound tour projects. As I have written in my last post, Himeji area in the Harima region now enjoys huge popularity with tourists due to the re-disclosure of Himeji Castle to public this spring, whole of the Harima region has been stimulated and energetically conducts broader inbound plans there. (http://www.harima-united.jp/)
The 13 cities, such as Himeji, Kakogawa,Ako, and Akashi, and 6 towns, such as Fukuzaki, Kamikawa, and Kamigoori started inbound tour plans in collaboration with related local businesses such as travel agents and bus companies. In such projects, they plan and implement monitoring tours, such as a tour to experience making abaci called “Banshu Soroban” which is a traditional craft of Ono City and to visit Himeji Castle, or experiencing Zen meditations at a local Buddhist temple, tea ceremonies and Himeji Castle visit. Some American, British, Spanish, Canadian residents in those areas joined the tours and are all satisfied so much. The municipalities are now vigorously continuing the inbound projects to attract and receive much more foreign tourists to reinvigorate the local society.