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Chuuk State, Micronesia Young Leaders (tourism) Invitation Program

Chuuk State, Micronesia Young Leaders (tourism) Invitation Program

(At the Micronesia Embassy in Japan. Front row: Mr. Kembo Mida, Mr. Christopher Eustaquio, Ms. Melba Aisek, and Mr. Advin Aisek)

Four young leaders from the tourism industry of the Federated States of Micronesia visited Japan from July 28th to August 4th, 2019. The participants of the program were Hotel L5 owner Mr. Kembo Mida, general manager of Blue Lagoon Resort Mr. Advin Aisek, Truck Stop Hotel general manager Ms. Melba Aisek, and Chuuk State Chamber of Commerce executive office Mr. Christopher Eustaquio.

The participants took part in training in Tokyo and Ama in Shimane Prefecture. The training in Tokyo consisted of briefings from specialists in the tourism field, and active roundtable discussions with people working on the frontline in the tourism industry. The second part of the training in Ama focused on hotel management know-how based on the special characteristics of the local culture and food; the members also learned about how Ama was able to successfully revitalize the town and the island under severe financial conditions.

At the briefing conducted by travel company H.I.S., they explained that in order to lure Japanese tourists to Micronesia, the industry must push areas that are still of ‘value’ to Japanese, such as Micronesia’s untouched and pristine nature and the beauty of the ocean. H.I.S. also underscored that Micronesia’s historical ruins as well as the multitude of cultures from its states can also be resources for overseas tourism. In response, the leaders talked about how there is a need to arrange Chuuk state’s infrastructure and their ability to receive overseas tourists, which goes beyond the hotel and organization frame.

Chuuk State, Micronesia Young Leaders (tourism) Invitation Program
(Listening to a briefing at H.I.S. HQs)
At the Micronesia Embassy, group members talked about in addition to the need for better infrastructure, attracting tourists and the business concept of producing things on the island and exporting them to Japan. Possible items that can be produced all year-round on the island and exported continuously to Japan are processed sea cucumbers and tapioca, and a type of distilled spirit using (shochu) made from taro roots. In particular, the distilled taro root alcohol is still in the experimental phase; however, the quality of the alcohol is exceptional and so the members discussed how Chuuk can efficiently produce the alcohol for mass consumption. At the Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu, the leaders got a peek at the hotel’s reservation and room operations. The group discussed with the hotel’s manager Hyodo about the challenges in hotel management in Japan and Chuuk, and ways to solve such challenges. The leaders asked many questions regarding the Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu’s points for efficient management and reservation rates for business hotels, and effective space planning and layout for limited amount of area. In the field of hotel management, Chuuk’s hotels and the Akasaka Excel share in common the problem of deterioration of facilities, which the group talked and exchanged opinions on. The leaders received a detailed explanation on the ‘construction process’ of how the Akasaka Excel has been renovating its hotel rooms during the past five years while still doing business as usual, balancing operations and renovations at the same time.

Chuuk State, Micronesia Young Leaders (tourism) Invitation Program
(Talking with Mr. Hyodo, manager of Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu)
Closing the Young Leaders Invitation Program, the party visited the town of Ama in Shimane prefecture. The town is working together as united citizens to turn around the town and re-invigorate the area based on their slogan “There’s nothing here”. The leaders received a lecture about what actions and measures Ama is taking in the tourism field, and efforts in developing the community. The leaders were particularly interested in Ama’s efforts in branding and marketing their famous Ogi Beef and Iwa Oysters, overlapping the future development of Chuuk and the growth of Ama.

Chuuk State, Micronesia Young Leaders (tourism) Invitation Program
(At Oki Dōzen Hospita)

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