Experience of Disaster and Recognition of Local Re-Sources: A Survey of a Tsunami-Damaged Town in Japan
Otsuchi Town, Japan, suffered significant damage due to the large tsunami in 2011. Rich groundwater and an ecosystem that contains several rare species characterized life in the town before the tsunami. Attracting more visitors to the town is necessary to sustain its economy going forward. This study aimed to identify factors that would increase visitors to the town. A survey of 6262 individuals, residing in nine locations in East Japan and sampled from a survey panel of an Internet research firm, showed that providing learning opportunities with regard to the local ecosystem and disaster recovery activities in Otsuchi would increase individual visitors from those locations by one to six percentage points. The increased publicity of the town after the tsunami is a key driving force in drawing visitors. The provision of information regarding learning opportunities is influential in attracting visitors who have an extensive interest in traveling and learning. These visitors enjoy experiences such as tasting water from natural resources, learning about different ecosystems, and participating in cultural activities. People who are uninterested in traveling or who have a limited range of interest in natural water, ecosystem, or culture are, however, not influenced by such information.
KeywordsDisaster recovery Tsunami Local ecosystem Tourism Otsuchi
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