|The idea of tourism is very broad ranging. In forming an actual framework, many industries
and operations must be involved and tied together. These include transport, accommodation,
food and beverages, entertainment, publishing, production and sale of related goods, agency
business, and more. Tourism is also often affected by people’s easily changing interests and
by fads, so an ability to acquire and analyze information on these phenomena is necessary.
Tour packages need more refined objectives and content to respond to a wide range of
needs from the traditional to the futuristic. And people creating these packages require
broad-ranging experience and knowledge. They need to be able to provide specific tasks
to unconnected industries and lead them in one direction to achieve the final results. Yet
few people can do a job that involves tasks comparable to those of an orchestra conductor
bringing various instruments and voices together combined with those of a project manager
who leads projects.
The Railway Agency established the Japan Tourist Bureau in 1912 (from which JTB
Corporation was created in 1963) to promote inbound tourism to Japan. As a result, Japanese
railways still have deep connections with organized domestic and international tourism even
to this day, and it is no coincidence that JR East Chairman Mutsutake Otsuka is chairman of
the committee on tourism for Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), Japan’s largest
economic organization. Following Chairman Otsuka’s lead, railway employees should work for
self-betterment to become the people who can lead Japan’s tourism industry.