Tourism & In-Destination Excitement in Asia

Traveling to a new part of the world can be incredibly exciting and let’s be honest, a little intimidating. What is there to do in the area? What should you experience first? These are questions every traveler has pop into their mind and increasingly, it is these simple questions that are driving many asian countries, like Japan, to develop enough entertainment or activities to accommodate the influx of tourists.  

The term to describe all that there is to experience by locals and tourists alike within any given location is in-destination. This hyphenated word largely encapsulates the entertainment, food and lodging available in an area. In fact, the “in-destination sector is the fastest-growing in travel, worth an estimated US$170 billion a year” so this term certainly has some weight to it [1]. Well, you might ask how exactly is all of this impacting the Asian-Pacific area and what are tourists even looking for while on a trip? Let’s explore those thoughts with a quick breakdown.    

 

How is tourism changing for asian countries?

To better understand the in-destination sector and the large impact it has on the travel industry, let’s look at how tourism in general is changing for these countries. Take Japan for example. According to the “United Nations World Tourism Organization, Japan was the 12th-most visited country on the planet in 2017” and “it also recorded the highest growth in tourist arrivals” [2]. This spike in tourists coming to the country has done more than just made popular spots a bit more tightly packed. It’s also benefited the area financially. Total spending by foreign visitors “hit a record 4.5 trillion yen ($40.1 billion) in 2018, quadrupling from 2012, according to the Japan Tourism Agency” [2].

While it all may sound positive, there is a grassroots opposition to this sudden increase in tourists as overcrowded spaces and public transportation have become a burden for locals. This rejection, however, seems to be “at odds with the government’s policy of cultivating the industry” and “the sector has seen sharp growth in recent years” [2]. Tourism does have its drawbacks but the benefits often outweigh them such as in the case of Japan where money from this influx has the potential to make its way “to economies outside the major urban areas, particularly those struggling with depopulation and rapidly aging communities” [2].   

What do tourists want when they travel?

People go on trips all the time so how are their needs different than those who have traveled in the past? Well, in short, it has been found that those traveling are no longer simply satisfied just “staying in their hotel suite, at the pool or the restaurant bar” and they have a desire “to explore, learn and experience something new” which often involves more unique activities [3]. A prime example of an activity that has changed over the years into something today’s travelers want are guided tours.

Tours used to simply be rather general and only took those visiting around the city they were in. While some are still like that, tours today have evolved to accommodate much more niche audiences and really give participants a memorable experience. For example, a food or even a graffiti tour can expose travelers to so much more and allow them to feel fully immersed in the new destination. Traveling nowadays means that “people increasingly want to pack more and more experiences into their travels” because “for many, vacations and travel time are scarce so they want to make the most of it” [3].

How does RCI come into play?

RCI currently has an emerging presence in Asia and worldwide as we continue to expand globally and build upon our growing network of distributors. To understand the Asian market and further provide family-friendly entertainment for tourists as well as locals, we will be attending the IAAPA Expo Asia show in Shanghai, China on June 12-14. RCI will be in booth #2614 alongside our Australian distributor, Highgate Group. Some of our clients in this area of the world consist of Rusutsu Resort Park and Namco’s “Space Athletic Tondemi” family facility in Japan as well as Changying Wonderland in China.

Approximately 8,000+ professionals from 300+ companies and over 50 countries gather at the bustling show to see the latest and greatest in entertainment solutions for their growing tourism economy so we are eager to further increase our reach with our family-friendly adventure products!

 

Sources:

[1] Arival Bangkok targets in-destination tours, activities and attractions. (2019, April 4). Retrieved from https://blooloop.com/news/arival-bangkok-2019.

[2]  Sugiura, E. (2019, April 17). Japan gets more than it bargained for with tourist boom. Retrieved from https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cover-Story/Japan-gets-more-than-it-bargained-for-with-tourist-boom.

[3] Berenstein, G. (2017, October 10). Why In-Destination Tours & Activities are the Future of Travel. Retrieved from https://www.utrippro.com/blog/why-tour-and-activities-are-future.

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