Post-disaster tourism: building resilience through community-led approaches in the aftermath of the 2011 disasters in Japan

Yiwen Lin*, Mihaela Kelemen, Richard Tresidder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Post-disaster tourism is often perceived as a form of Dark Tourism associated with death, loss and destruction. In Japan, the term Dark Tourism has gained prominence following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. This paper focuses on a community-led approach to post-disaster tourism development, initiated in the coastal area of Minamisanriku and labelled by the locals Blue Tourism. From its inception Blue Tourism incorporated non-dark activities which concentrated on the beauty of nature, social and environmental sustainability and the development of an enriched tourist experience. Its co-creational ethos helped transform some of the negative narratives of loss associated with Dark Tourism into positive accounts of communal renewal and hope. The paper highlights the limitations of Dark Tourism to post-disaster recovery and contributes new insights to the community-based tourism literature. We argue that Blue Tourism is not a type of Dark Tourism but a form of resilience which builds around local place-based practices and traditional community knowledge. Consequently, it is capable of achieving sustainable disaster recovery and tourist satisfaction simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1766-1783
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Volume26
Issue number10
Early online date24 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • community-based tourism
  • Dark Tourism
  • Japan
  • post-disaster recovery
  • Post-disaster tourism
  • service co-creation

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