IW Inc. took a fam trip with a Japan-lover influencer from Hong Kong, Pui, in cooperation with local government and companies

Chikugo Garden City Promotion Council planned the trip as the second Chikugo (Fukuoka prefecture) Tourism Promotion for overseas, especially for this time, for Hong Kong. They invited an influencer from Hong Kong, Pui, who loves Japan. In cooperation with local companies such as IW Inc. and Fukuoka Hire Service, they made a promotional video of Chikugo.

 -Overview-

The yearly number of overseas visitors in Fukuoka prefecture reached 2.73 million in October 2018, and it increased by 3.8% compared to the same period of the last year.

Although the total number until December has not been announced yet, it is estimated that it will be more than 3 million as it did two years ago.

As for Japan as a whole, the number of overseas visitors reached 30 million in 2018 for the first time.

As Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan in 2019, there would be more overseas visitors this year.
More than 60% of overseas visitors are returning visitors. As more and more people have grown their love for Japan, their needs have changed at the same time.

In this situation, IW implemented the second “Promotion Project for Recommended Route in Chikugo with Overseas Influencers” in December 2018.

This time, they targeted exclusively on tourists from Hong Kong, and they invited a Japan-lover YouTuber from Hong Kong.

 

Tourism Plan in cooperation with Chikugo Garden City Promotion Council (Fukuoka prefecture)

 <Background of this project>

In Japan, as the population is decreasing, centralization of population in cities has been evident. Although provincial areas have unique attractiveness and there are craftsmen with traditional skills, those areas are declining due to decreasing population. Therefore, local governments think they need to revitalize their towns.

Chikugo Garden City Promotion Council, which consists of Fukuoka prefecture and 12 cities and towns in Chikugo area, is working very hard on their promotion by making recommended tour routes of Chikugo area for different countries.

 

About Chikugo’s recommended routes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chikugo’s recommended routes for Taiwan and Hong Kong

http://kankou.chikugolife.jp/images/chinese_j.pdf

Chikugo Tourism Information (Japanese/English/Korean/Traditional Chinese/Simplified Chinese)

http://kankou.chikugolife.jp/

Chikugo’s recommended routes are made by Chikugo Garden City Promotion Council for tourists so that they can fully enjoy Chikugo area. And there are recommended routes for different countries: for Western Countries; for Korea; and for Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In Fukuoka, most of overseas visitors are from Asia. But as people from differed countries have different needs, it is important to recommend different routes.

In fact, it is not common that a public organization pay attention to such detail, and it is very innovative.

 

Purpose of this promotional project

The purpose of this promotional project is to let overseas visitors know the best routes for traveling in Chikugo. And the secondary purpose was to improve traveling environment by making recommended routes.

As a matter of fact, during the fam trip (inviting overseas travel agencies or bloggers and show them tourist spots) with an influencer from Hong Kong this time, they found out issues and even attractiveness they did not notice.

 

The reason of inviting an influencer from Hong Kong

The reason why they targeted Hong Kong for this promotional project is that travelers from the country are mostly returning visitors. According to data by Japan Tourism Agency, more than 60% of overseas visitors are repeating visitors. Especially, 80% of visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan are repeating visitor.

Also, repeating visitors would like to experience “local Japan” in provincial areas rather than staying only in cities. And as the trend of spending money has changed from shopping to experiences, more and more overseas travelers participate in workshops.
Considering the situation, they decided to focus on Hong Kong and invited an influencer who is popular among travelers from Hong Kong.

 

Influencer Pui loves Japan

■Instagram – More than 10k followers
■Youtube – More than 64k subscribers
■Facebook – More than 22k followers

Pui could be the only one influencer from Hong Kong who delivers information focusing on traveling in Japan.

A mild-mannered young woman likes having different experiences during traveling in Japan. Not only insta-worthy places but she also goes to places where have not been discovered by many people yet.

 

Chinkugo’s recommended routes for Hong Kongers

Places were decided based on the concept “Experience Chikugo”

<<Places on the route>>
Okawa-shi: Okawa Terrazza (Okawa furnitures) / Nitahara Tategu (Kumiko workshop)
Oki-machi: Roadside Station Oki (Lunch, mushroom gathering, feeding rabbits and goats)
Chikugo-shi: Ikeda Kasuri Koubou (indigo dye workshop, renting kimono) / Koi-no-ki Shirine (Love’s tree shrine) / Hotel Higuchiken
Miyama-shi: Kajiyama farm (Mikan gathering) / Kiyomizu-dera Temple / Dining Takeya (organic food restaurant)
Yame-shi: Yame Traditional Craft Center (washi-making workshop) / UNAGINO-NEDOKO (Chikugo’s craft shop) / Ebisu Liquor Shop / Yame Central Tea Plantation / Hoshino Tea Museum (Tea workshop, Japanese confectionary making workshop, enjoying Shizuku tea)
Ukiha-shi: Ukiha Inari Shrine / White-walled street tour / Wa-gashi shop Hita-ya Fukutomi / Tonkatsu restaurant Shoyama

 

Watch YouTube videos by Pui

Pui made two videos and those videos have gotten 65,000 views in total.

Check them out!

Pui’s favorite

The schedule for this trip mainly consisted of attractions to experience, and Pui liked it. Her favorite was Ukiha Inari Shrine and a beautiful starry sky she saw from an open-air bath in Ikenoyama-so. And her cameraman, who is also from Hong Kong, liked Yame Central Tea Plantation and tea workshop. Both of them liked Japanese landscape full of nature.

The most important point for overseas travelers is the combination of unique experience and landscape.

 

Issues to be solved

Issues they found out during the fam trip is that many places were only accessible by car. Therefore, there has to be other ways to go those places.

More people used to travel on bus tours before, but now, the trend is changing to FIT (Foreign Independent Tour).

Transportation must be improved so that independent travelers can go to many places by themselves.

Also, there should be more workers or volunteers who have foreign language skills. To let overseas visitors know about local industries, this issue has to be solved as well.

Solve issues in cooperation with local government and companies

Fukuoka Hire Service from Daito Taxi Group was in charge of transportation during this fam trip. Fukuoka Hire Service is a company that serves VIP customers from Japan and overseas and offers a transportation service with a concierge driver for wealthy visitors. They also issue a guide book FLAGS that has information about food, tourism, and culture of Northern Kyushu.

So that overseas visitors can enjoy Chikugo fully, IW will work on issues in cooperation with government and local companies such as Fukuoka Hire Service.

 

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