In October, 2016, Kamaishi City of Iwate Prefecture and Airbnb signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding), for the first time in Japan, to promote tourism.
Since this agreement, Airbnb has enacted programs to further support growth in the Kamaishi tourism industry through Airbnb home-sharing. In December of the same year, experienced Airbnb hosts from Wakayama and Mie prefectures participated in a meet-up event for locals of Kamaishi city, who have special interests in farm home-sharing. Ways to utilise the Airbnb marketplace were explained, and the hosts shared their wonderful experiences of welcoming guests through Airbnb. Most of the participants from Kamaishi city had no prior knowledge of the Airbnb platform.
Contributing to tourism promotion, as outlined in the memorandum, Airbnb has created an English guidebook for guests visiting Kamaishi city. The special guidebook was put together with the help of local high school students (Kamaishi High School), Sanriku Hitotsunagi Nature School, which aims to revitalize Kamaishi city, “Kamaen-tai”, a government and private partnership focused on reconstruction of the city since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and also with the help of Shinichiro Hiramatsu, the creator of Kamaishi Teppan Map.
Main contents of Kamaishi city English guidebook:
- Outdoor locations to experience Kamaishi’s natural beauty
- Places to meet and greet friendly locals
- History of the iron industry and traditional “matsuri” festivals that locals take pride in
- Gourmet stopovers that take you back in time
- Recommended souvenirs and gifts
- Messages from other travelers
See the guidebook here in digital format. A printed guidebook will also be distributed at events held in Kamaishi city and tourist information centers.
Creation of the guidebook, including all of the unique features of Kamaishi City, was made possible thanks to all, who provided their local knowledge as well as local residents and businesses. Airbnb looks forward to continued support toward the growth of tourism in Kamaishi City.