From the 6th to the 7th November, Diana and I went to Shunan City with our bosses, where they conducted a seminar. The purpose of the seminar was to inform the participants about how they can promote their city in order to attract more tourists. The participants were interested parties, association or company members from the tourism branch involved in promoting Shunan City. Most of them were local people.
Furthermore, the participants were also asked to do some brainstorming during a workshop, which was conducted by Hiro-san. They collected ideas of activities for tourists and places worth visiting in Shunan City. The participants worked actively together and collected many ideas. The atmosphere suddenly became lively and more casual.
Mizu-san talked about what foreigners expect to see and experience in Japan. She gave them many advices and tips. We, the interns, also did some role plays with the participants. We shook hands with them and said “Nice to meet you” to each other. Later we hugged and said “Thank you” to each other. The purpose of this was to show the participants the western way of greeting and thanking. Mizu-san also explained the Do’s and Don’ts when interacting with foreigners.
Next day, the participants seemed more relaxed and the interactions were more informal. Mizu-san talked about the importance of food and other arrangements for foreigners. She showed example websites, which look appealing to foreigners. She also emphasised the advantage of having multilingual and well translated websites and the disadvantage of relying on Google translator. Diana and I were asked to join the following workshop. We listed some recommended tools/things, which are helpful for foreigners visiting Shunan city.
I believe that the participants were able to develop an overall picture during this seminar. They will be more conscious and think about many different aspects, which will help them to promote their city.