‘Adventure travel’ exploration in Toyoura

Participants observe an auction at the fishing port during the monitor tour

The Funka Bay Toyoura Tourist Association in the town of Toyoura in central Hokkaido is working on the development of a travel program for hands-on ‘adventure travel (AT)’ which is popular in Europe and the United States, as a tourism promotion policy in anticipation of the spread of the Coronavirus being brought under control. In consideration of the international AT conference ‘Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS)’ to be held in Hokkaido in 2023, the association is seeking to create tours that incorporate the appeal of Funka Bay’s nature and the Ainu culture.

It is part of a project that started this year with the support of the Hokkaido Tourism Organization. Ideas such as the shelling of scallops – a local specialty product – and scallop fishing, in which L-shaped metal fittings are inserted into the gaps between the shells that the scallops open and close to escape, have been cited along with cruises around Funka Bay, with the aim of selling the tours in collaboration with travel agencies.

On October 8th, a monitor tour was held in which two residents of Sapporo – an Australian and a Spanish national – took part. In addition to scallop shelling and scallop fishing, the participants’ response to observing an auction at the Toyoura fishing port was also considered.

By incorporating the activities into multiple tours aimed at participants in the ATWS to be held in Hokkaido in 2023, the Tourist Association is preparing trekking and cycling routes in which people can enjoy the food and nature of Toyoura and become more familiar with the Ainu culture. “We want to create the opportunity for people from overseas to get to know Toyoura,” said Secretary-general Okamoto.

-What is adventure travel?
An experiential style of travel – popular in Europe and the US – that includes at least two of the requirements of ‘nature’, ‘intercultural exchange’ and ‘physical activity’. It is popular among more affluent travelers, and the amount of tourism consumption during long-term stays is double that of normal travel, with market said to be in the region of 72 trillion yen. In September of this year, the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS), an international conference in which representatives from travel agencies around the world gather to take part in tours and business meetings, was held online based in Hokkaido. It will be held in Hokkaido again in 2023.


Toyoura fishing port