Higashimatsushima City

Trail of Opportunity: Maximizing Natural Resources for Sustainable Tourism Initiatives in Higashimatsushima

Higashimatsushima City used to attract millions of tourists a year but the Great East Japan Earthquake that caused a tsunami in 2011, damaged most of the tourist resources in the area. To recover tourism and revitalize the local economy, they came up with the idea of taking advantage of the richness of Higashimatsushima’s nature and landscapes by creating a trail inspired by the Korean “Olle” concept. This concept refers to trails that help connect visitors not only with nature but also with the community and its culture. The creation of the “Oku-Matsushima Olle trail” was possible thanks to the collaboration of the entire local community, the local government and the cooperation of the entire region. This trail was designed to highlight all the cultural and historical tourist attractions that can be found along. For all these reasons, it has become a symbol of Higashimatsushima City.

Keywords: Landscape & Scenery, Community involvement in planning, Stakeholder contributions Tourism Recovery reviving tourism, revitalizing the local economy, Olle concept, connecting visitors and locals, disaster preparedness, people-to-people interactions, walking trail, natural heritage

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