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Article

Tourism’s Impacts on Rural Livelihood in the Sustainability of an Aging Community in Japan

1
Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, 1 Senbaru, Nishihara Town, Okinawa Prefecture 903-0213, Japan
2
Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-mati, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan
3
Ishikawa Prefectural Natural History Museum, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-1147, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2896; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082896
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
Rural tourism, which is often interpreted as rural development initiatives, has been extensively studied in a Japanese context; however, this has been typically observed at a community level, and the host households were assumed as homogeneous. Therefore, this article explores rural tourism’s potential as a tool for territorial development in Japan, and augments established literature by studying how rural tourism contributes to sustainable livelihoods at the household level in an aging community and a developed economy. For this purpose, a qualitative study observed a farm inn group in the town of Noto, a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) site in Japan. Three hypotheses were tested: (1) rural tourism in a remote/isolated region has changed the host households’ livelihood assets; (2) the economic benefits from rural tourism are marginal to host households; and (3) the benefits other than income earnings exceed the economic benefits for aging communities. The residents’ quality of life has improved in this super-aging rural community, although the economic benefits are still marginal to most host households. Tourists have brought vitality to these remote villages, and a lack of young residents to inherit these farm inn businesses presents a bottleneck to the industry’s future development. Social capital should be strengthened by forming social networks with the local government and private sectors. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural heritage; community participation; farm inn; GIAHS; livelihood assets; territorial development agricultural heritage; community participation; farm inn; GIAHS; livelihood assets; territorial development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, B.; Qiu, Z.; Usio, N.; Nakamura, K. Tourism’s Impacts on Rural Livelihood in the Sustainability of an Aging Community in Japan. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2896. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082896

AMA Style

Chen B, Qiu Z, Usio N, Nakamura K. Tourism’s Impacts on Rural Livelihood in the Sustainability of an Aging Community in Japan. Sustainability. 2018; 10(8):2896. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082896

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Bixia, Zhenmian Qiu, Nisikawa Usio, and Koji Nakamura. 2018. "Tourism’s Impacts on Rural Livelihood in the Sustainability of an Aging Community in Japan" Sustainability 10, no. 8: 2896. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082896

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