The Kamaishi City Open Field Museum
The Kamaishi City Open Field Museum project, launched in 2017, is a key component of the plan for the city’s long-term sustainability and resilience. Kamaishi is situated within the Sanriku Fukko National Park, home to UNESCO World Heritage Hashino Iron Mining and Smelting Site and was devastated by the 2011 earthquake/tsunami. The city is working towards recovery and was chosen as an official host city for the Rugby World Cup 2019. Together with the aim of meeting the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, its main components include homestay-style accommodation and hands-on experience programs run by local residents, with particular focus on local industries and businesses. To support the development of homestay accommodation, Kamaishi was the first city in Japan to form an official partnership with Airbnb, who have provided significant and practical support and advice. The project is managed by the KOFM Executive Committee, consisting of 22 representatives from local tourism organizations, private and public companies and others, overseen by the Kamaishi City Promotion Committee. The KOFM supports a regular event titled “Meetup Kamaishi” that provides a framework for a number of such tours and programs to be held within a concentrated time period, which gives opportunities for monitoring and surveying large amounts of tourists at one time, whilst tracking the increase in programs on offer. The project contributes to these key areas of International Year of Tourism for Development 2017: social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction (the project is focused on creating new jobs and business opportunities in the local community) and cultural calues, diversity and heritage (celebrates local heritage by increasing opportunities for community exchange).