Volcano-centric activities to promote Miyakejima’s appeal are off to a start!

On Miyakejima, island meeting participants began discussing ways to enhance the island’s appeal in FY 2018. They decided on the brand concept of “Living with a volcano to awaken the five senses.” Following an action plan focused on “walking, learning, and eating the volcano,” they have been thinking about how to create new value by developing volcano-centric tourist experience programs while introducing a digital sightseeing tour app and photo printing station. A trial package tour that actually made use of the tour app and printing station was also held in FY 2019.

This year’s activities started in July 2020, when a meeting was held to reflect on the discussions and initiatives of the past two years and decide on upcoming initiatives for FY 2020.

Participants had somehow managed to implement this year’s initiatives despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. There had been concerns about how the pandemic would affect the brand concept and action plan that they had been exploring up until last year.

During the meeting, members confirmed that “the essence of Miyakejima’s appeal remains unchanged” even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was agreed that work on the initiatives would continue this year based on the goals from the previous year.

The digital sightseeing tour app “SpotTour,” which was introduced on a trial basis last year, can accumulate and analyze the behavioral data of visitors to the island. Not only does this allow the app to suggest more attractive tours to tourists, but it is also effective at sparking tourists’ interest in hearing about certain topics in greater detail, leading to opportunities for nature guides. In the future, more spots on the island will be registered in the app and even more tours will be offered.

There was also the opinion that Miyakejima has more to offer than just sightseeing spots. It was decided to further include information on things such as stores, nature guides, and hands-on experiences, leading to a system that would allow visitors to better enjoy exploring the island while also benefiting the local community. The idea is also emerging that the tour app should be made to be usable by island residents as well as visitors.

Usage of the photo printing station was also discussed.
The advantage of this device is that it allows visitors to quickly print out memories of their visit to the island on the spot and take them home. It is intended to encourage visitors to show each other their photos and have fun reflecting on their time on Miyakejima, leading to more repeat visitors. Going forward, participants will consider specific aspects of its use, such as the location of the photo printing station and the situations in which it is used.

Through their initiatives up to FY 2019, participants have found that it is important to implement publicity and awareness activities on the island to ensure that the sightseeing tour app and photo printing station are used more effectively by visitors and island residents.

Therefore, the participants will continue efforts to promote awareness and use of guided tours and sightseeing activity programs while also engaging in awareness activities, such as the displaying of posters.