Hagi Homestay Association
Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
The Critical Need
Nowadays, Japan is facing a decline in population as well as the many socio-economic issues that come along with a large ageing population. Most young people and the new generation are moving away from rural areas to the city for work, not seeing any opportunities in farming communities. This means most of the ageing society is left alone in their hometown. Not only does this have a negative effect on the morale of the elderly in Japan, it has also created concern about the future of the growth of the country’s economy. The Hagi Homestay, where travellers stay with local farmers and elderly hosts, seeks to create purpose and an income for the ageing population of Hagi City.
Planeterra worked closely with “Higashi Furusato Tourism Suishin Kyogikaithe” (Hagi Green Hometown Tourism Association) to provide capacity training in the form of English language skills, conversation aids for travellers, and other training needs to prepare the Hagi Homestay for receiving travellers.
In 2019, G Adventures will begin to bring travellers to experience the community and stay with Japanese farmers, participating in local culture, and supporting the elderly of this community.
The primary positive social impacts of this collaboration will be the increase of happiness and feeling of purpose for Hagi’s ageing residents. By being more active themselves, and interacting with travellers, they will also see a growth in revenue for the Hagi Ageing Homestay Association, as well as the promotion of local businesses and projects. Investments into tourism service components will provide the local partners with the necessary tools and resources to improve the overall quality of their products, generating additional income and positive visibility for the elderly. Additionally, their goal is to generate new economic opportunities attractive to the next generation, to mitigate rural population decline.