Despite tourism booming, a rise in foreigners is creating issues for residents. There have been complaints in Hokkaido about foreign tourists trespassing on farmland, and many communities now have to deal with visitors with reckless behaviour and illegal dumping and severe traffic jams. Local governments struggle to get to grips with the situation.
In Biei, Hokkaido, about 10,000 hectares are grown by 400 farmers. Tour guides have recently been caught guiding visitors to fields for social media images. Tourists flying drones have also been a complaint
"When microbes or insects (on) people's shoes were carried into the farms, I can't calculate the plant loss," said a 35-year-old farmer in Biei. Every year, more than 2 million visitors travel to see its wide-open, hilly landscape.
Some peasants reportedly cut poplar and larch trees common with photo-taking tourists to stop the destruction.
Stakeholders are considering patrols and may begin warning police to trespassers.
"We want all these people to enjoy our beautiful scenery, but if the way of life of farmers is endangered, we may need to take strong action," a Biei Vitalization Association spokesperson said.
Japan drew 31.19 million visitors from overseas in 2018, a record high in a row for the sixth year. The government is aiming to make the country a tourist destination, hoping to hit 40 million tourist numbers by 2020.
But the tensions between visitors and the places they visit have risen. In Kyoto, in attempts to take their image, foreign tourists have followed geisha, even pulling at their kimono.
The city has been encouraging better behaviour since late September through a popular map app among foreign tourists, helping to navigate traditional ochaya restaurants in the district of Gion, where geisha serves customers.
"Tourists who view private property as a theme park become dissatisfied with the locals. We want them to show good etiquette when witnessing history and culture, "the tourism promotion office manager of the city said.
Tags : Despite tourism, foreigners, tourists’ behavior, tourism, Local governments struggle,