Japanese consumption practices of tourism. An exploratory study of the “hows” and “whys” of Japanese tourists’ consumption of tourism and nature-based tourism
AuthorKrag, Christoffer Wanga
The main purpose of this study is to explore Japanese consumption practices of tourism asking how and why Japanese tourists consume tourism. Additionally, the study attempts to explore the relation that the Japanese have towards nature, at the same time as it explores the possibility that there are some exclusive reasons as to why they wish to visit nature in a tourism context. In relation to this, there is a special focus on Norway as a provider of nature-based tourism, which include spectacular phenomena such as the northern lights and the midnight sun. The theoretical framework will be Holt’s (1995) ‘Four Metaphors for Consuming’ as well as theories relating to the characteristic nature of the Japanese. Using this framework as a backdrop, a qualitative research method and an exploratory design was chosen. Seven semi-structured individual depth interviews and one focus group were set up, resulting in a total sample of ten participants. The focus group and the interviews were conducted in Kyoto and Osaka, Japan. Results from the study revealed both similarities and dissimilarities with the theory. As anticipated, the research indicated that the Japanese are highly concerned about safety, learning and comfort when travelling. Their spiritual relation to nature and the occurrence of serene emotions when being surrounded by nature was also expected. On the other hand, there were little to no indications of the Japanese being particularly concerned with their self-image. As opposed to the theory, the meanings behind purchashing Omiyage (souvenirs) and vigorously taking and sharing photos when travelling, seemingly had nothing to do with the desire to portray or differentiate themselves in relations to others. Furthermore, although the Japanese have a distinctive image of preferring group travelling, the participants of this particular study instead exclusively favoured independent travelling. As such, the present study perhaps unveils the profile of the modern Japanese traveller. A traveller who pursues interpersonal communication, who is highly competent in foreign languages, and who values the freedom of choice.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
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