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Uniting Sports, Culture, and Tourism: Japan's Innovative Strategy for Regional Revitalization


Japan's "Sports Culture Tourism Award 2023" is an initiative led by the Sports Agency, Agency for Cultural Affairs, and Japan Tourism Agency to foster regional revitalization and tourism promotion by intertwining sports, culture, and tourism. This innovative approach seeks to create new regional and Japanese brands that can be showcased to the world, utilizing the unique sports events and cultural arts resources inherent in various localities.


Amid the recent challenges posed by the pandemic, which severely impacted tourism by halting inbound demand and reducing domestic travel, Japan is witnessing a gradual recovery in tourism interest both locally and internationally. The Sports Culture Tourism Award 2023 aims to spotlight and honor pioneering endeavors that contribute to the promotion of sports culture tourism, highlighting projects that merge sports events with cultural arts to generate new tourist attractions and stimulate local economies.


Applications are open to a wide range of entities, including local governments, tourism promotion organizations, economic bodies, sports and cultural arts groups, and private companies. The criteria for selection emphasize initiatives that combine sports with cultural heritage and tourism, aiming to increase visitor numbers, encourage longer stays, and have a positive economic ripple effect across the regions.


This year's award focuses on identifying and rewarding projects that not only boost tourism and regional vitality but also display innovation in branding and communication strategies to enhance destination appeal. The awarded initiatives will serve as leading examples of how to effectively leverage Japan's diverse cultural and sporting assets to revitalize tourism and regional development in a post-pandemic world.

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