Ghibli Park has been open for half a year, and the number of visitors is strong


Ghibli Park, which is being developed in the Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park (Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture), will be six months old on May 1 since the early opening of the three areas. As a one-of-a-kind space that expresses the world view of Ghibli's works, it attracts many fans from Japan and abroad every day. The remaining two areas are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. How can the park effect be linked to the promotion and revitalization of tourism in the surrounding area? The search for stakeholders continues.  

"I've come to be on par with Kyoto." According to a person in charge of the Aichi Prefecture Tourism Promotion Division, such voices were raised in the prefecture's tourism industry this spring. Nagoya was selected as the 2023 edition of "The World's Most Wonderful Place" by Time magazine by the Japan, along with Kyoto. It is said that one of the deciding factors was the Ghibli Park that opened in neighboring Nagakute City.  As if to confirm the high level of attention, the park attracts visitors from outside the prefecture and overseas.

A 21-year-old woman from Kawanishi City, Hyogo Prefecture, who visited the park in late April, was impressed by the exhibit, saying, "The high level of reproducibility and power was amazing." It is said that it was the first time he visited Aichi Prefecture. I plan to visit again in late May, this time to the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium in Minato-ku, Nagoya.
Trai Bumiratna, 50, from Thailand, came to the park with her family of four. His wife, Panida, 44, says, "I feel like I'm the protagonist of a story." The family plans to stay at a hotel in Nagoya for a few days and tour the area.
According to JTB's Nagoya Division, accommodation plans with park tickets have been selling well, and since the park opened last November, it has been sold out almost every month. It is often used from the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai area. "The situation is much higher than we expected," said Kenji Kojima.
On the other hand, there are cases where the park effect has not been obtained as expected at this stage.
According to Masazumi Kato, secretary general of the local Nagakute City Tourism Exchange Association, many visitors move from the park without traveling around the city. "We haven't taken advantage of the opportunities, and we have to create a tourism strategy."

To coincide with the park's opening, Aichi Prefecture has set up 10 model courses that include sightseeing spots in the prefecture that are likely to be liked by Ghibli fans, such as the Handa Red Brick Building and Sakushima, which is known for its art. However, the current situation is "not that we are able to attract explosive customers," says a person in charge of the prefectural tourism promotion division. If the park is fully opened, we expect more repeat visitors and guests to enjoy it thoroughly. "We want to strategically encourage excursions and encourage people to stay longer," he says.
Professor Takashi Samejima of Komazawa Women's University (tourism studies) pointed out that "it is a well-established theory that finding tourism resources is 'something else.'" "Many people come from Japan and abroad and find new value, so it is important to have people come to Aichi first of all through the park," he says.

 Ise, Hida, Nagano, and other tourist destinations in the Chubu region boast tourist destinations known both in Japan and overseas. Will Ghibli Park be a catalyst for further leaps forward? We asked Toshihiro Uchida, Visiting Professor of the Faculty of Economics, Chukyo University (55) = Regional Economy =.
ーWhat is your rating of Ghibli Park?
Ghibli Park may be the first tourist destination in Aichi Prefecture that requires overnight stays. It can compete with Disneyland in the east and Universal Studios Japan in the west. Ghibli fans have a wide range of age groups, and one of the strengths is that there are many of them overseas.
ーAfter the opening of all five areas, which are estimated to have about 1.8 million visitors annually, the economic ripple effect is said to be 48 billion yen per year.

I think it's achievable in 10 minutes. An increase in the number of overseas tourists visiting Japan is expected. Combined with the depreciation of the yen, the unit price of consumption in Japan is also rising.
     -How can we expand the ripple effect?

Including the three Tokai prefectures and the Chubu region, it is necessary to provide information that meets the diversifying needs of tourism. At present, I have the impression that the movements of local governments are disjointed. We should collaborate over a wide area and present excursion sightseeing routes that capture needs.
It is also necessary to have a mechanism to disseminate information through social networking sites (SNS), including nearby facilities. Many people search the Internet for things they are interested in and use them as a reference for sightseeing routes. If you don't work on the "buzz" device, you won't be recognized by a wide range of generations.

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