On 11 March 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake caused a historical dam-age. People totalling 20,000 went missing and some died. Under the cata-strophic conditions, survivors started disaster tourism. This research paper in-vestigates the role of disaster tourism in the post-disaster period of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The tourism has spread widely and has been adapted to suit the changes and the problems in the disaster area to date. The analysis is based on primary data gathered from interviews and participatory observation in the tourism programmes; and secondary data from several sources, namely several media platforms, publications, books, among others. The data is sorted into input/output and set in timelines composed of the shelter stage and re-construction stage. The findings show that disaster tourism played a crucial role in smoothly connecting the shelter stage to the reconstruction stage. It gave survivors opportunities to be active agents in the reconstruction pro-grammes. Reconstruction markets gave shop owners confidence to revamp their businesses. The storytelling guide programmes gave the survivors oppor-tunities to bid farewell to their loved ones. In the reconstruction stage, there was an increase in depopulation which adversely affected the survivors started businesses. The tourists became the survivors’ sole dependable customers. Sto-rytellers attracted tourists and created platform for population exchange. This population exchange with the tourists is thought city’s marketing strategy to get sustainable donations and support. However, the tourism programmes them-selves could not have economic independence, and harmful rumours were per-sistent challenges for disaster tourism.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Great East Japan Earthquake, Disaster, Disaster tourism, Volunteer tourism, Reconstruction, Active agent, Depopulation, Third Sector, Rumour
Thesis Advisor Gomez, Georgina
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/13252
Series Local Development Strategies (LDS)
Citation
Nagai, N. (2012, December 14). Disaster Tourism: The Role of Tourism in Post-Disaster Period of Great East Japan Earthquake. Local Development Strategies (LDS). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/13252