The Amakusa City in Japan is tapping Negros Occidental as its tourism partner in the Philippines.
On Thursday, the Amakusa Tourism Promotion Team presented attractions to Negrense stakeholders in a meeting, which is part of the Tourism Business Exchange Program between the two areas, held at Nature’s Village Resort here.
Sakie Urakami-Saito, of the National Licensed English-Speaking Guide in Japan, said the major tourism offerings of Amakusa include its rich heritage, culture, and history.
Situated in the center of Kyushu, southwest of Kumamoto, Amakusa consists of approximately 120 islands of various sizes and designated as Unzen-Amakusa National Park centering on its coastlines.
What makes Amakusa unique from other destinations in Japan like Tokyo and Osaka is its “countryside” feel.
“Tourists cannot imagine what the countryside of Japan is, if they only visit Tokyo and Osaka. The life of the local people there can be experienced in Amakusa,” Urakami-Saito said.
Amakusa, which remains home to early Christian culture, offers rare traces of history including introduction, propagation, oppression, hiding and revival.
Sakitsu Village is one of the “Hidden Christian Sites” in the Nagasaki Region. It forms part of the area declared as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage Site in July 2018.
“These are on top of other tourism offerings – from food to a variety of natural attractions and views,” Urakami-Saito added.
After the meeting, the 10-member Amakusa Tourism Promotion Team led by Ryuichi Yokoshima met with Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson at the provincial capitol in Bacolod City.
The team included officials from Amakusa Tourism Promotion Division, Amakusa Airline, Amakusa Takarajima Tourism Association, Amakusa Hondo Ryokan and Hotel Association, and Amakusa City Industrial Policy Division.
Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Cristine Mansinares said the provincial government is linking the promotion team from Japan to local tour operators in Negros Occidental.
Mansinares said that while the group is promoting Amasuka to the Negrenses, it’s also an opportunity for the province to promote its tourism industry in Japan.
“We want to strengthen the relations between the two tourism areas,” she added. (PNA)