Kochi, Japan, has become a popular stop for cruise ships, but local businesses have not seen sales growth, according to a recent report in The Japan Times.
The article said passengers are bused to tourist spots around the area and they visit the shops and restaurants, but, according to kimono shop operator Keisuke Nakanishi, they mostly just take photos and sales don’t spike.
The local governments are thus trying to assess the needs of visitors by talking with visitors and surveying cruise ship passengers and crew, according to the article.
Yoshiki Yamamoto, head of a business association in the Kochi’s Harimaya Bridge shopping area, said: “We should know what the visitors want.”
In addition to finding out what current visitors want, the prefectural government has been trying to bring in more visitors by inviting foreign cruise operators to tour the area and attending trade shows in the United States.“We hope to promote use of the port and boost inbound consumption,” said prefectural official Toshihiro Tsuneishi.