Travel Guide for Elderly Tourists from Japan

A Project Prototype by Emi Murayama

not published

Japan is the country with the longest life expectancy. This means that there is a large population with an abundance of leisure time. An increasing number of Japanese senior citizens enjoy their leisure time by traveling overseas. Although neighbor countries like South Korea and Taiwan have recently become popular, Hawaii maintains an unshakable popularity as a travel destination.

 

Information about Hawaii as a travel destination is abundant in Japan. While traditional print and broadcast media continue to regularly feature Hawaii, the internet has become another important source of information about food, souvenirs, and tourists attraction. Despite the abundance of these resources, they are not always easily accessible for many elderly citizens.

 

Japanese of the dankai generation (born between 1947 and 1949) make up a large part of the population, and are now considered as “elderly” (citizens 65 and older.) Given their leisure time and financial resources, it is likely that more and more elderly Japanese will be visiting Hawaii. Therefore, there is a great demand for travel guides catering this demographic.

 

In this project, students will first learn about the rapid growth of the elderly population in Japan. Having gained a better awareness and understanding of this population, students will learn about the needs of elderly Japanese tourists by conducting interviews with them. After analyzing the results of these interviews, each group of students will create a video clip containing information they believe will be particularly useful to elderly Japanese traveling to Hawaii. The video clips will eventually become accessible to elderly Japanese who are interested in vacationing in Hawai‘i through whatever media the students believe will be the most effective for the purpose.

 

Through this project, students will enhance their linguistic as well as socio-cultural knowledge. They will also develop their linguistic skills by carefully designing interview questions and by considering what are the most appropriate expressions to use during the interviews and in their final products (i.e., video clips.)

Overview files comments

Preparing for the Project

Learning about Japanese tourists coming to Hawai‘i

Learning about the elderly population in Japan

Learning about the Japanese elderly consumer market

Learning about the needs of elderly Japanese tourists

Launching the Project

Preparing for interviews

Conducting interviews with the target audience

Managing the Project

Preparing to create a video travel guide

Creating a video travel guide

Presenting video travel guides to the target audience

Assessment

Interview with elderly Japanese tourists

Production of video travel guide

Implementation Info

Implementation information not specified.

Preparing for the Project

Learning about Japanese tourists coming to Hawai‘i

In order to provide a context for the project, students will read the reports listed below (as homework assignment) while answering reading questions provided by the instructor. Through this activity, students will learn about (1) the significance of the number of Japanese tourists in Hawai‘i for the state’s economy, (2) recent trend in Japanese tourists’ activity patterns, and (3) the change in the satisfaction rate among Japanese tourists. All of the reports are written in English, and little Japanese language will be involved when reading them. However, this activity is necessary because it helps the students gain background knowledge about Japanese tourists coming to Hawai‘i in general.

2016 Annual Visitor Research Report by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

2016 Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Report by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

Technology Tips

Students need access to the internet for this homework.

Learning about the elderly population in Japan

As a homework assignment, students will read an online text (including statistical data) that describes: (1) the rapid growth of the elderly Japanese population, and (2) the economic power of the population as an indicator of the expanding elderly consumer market in Japan. Students will answer reading questions provided by the instructor and prepare for an in-class discussion on the following day.

Technology Tips

Students need access to the internet for this homework. Students are encouraged to use online dictionaries and smartphone apps to look up unfamiliar kanji and expressions in the text.

Learning about the Japanese elderly consumer market

As a homework assignment, students will read an online text (including statistical data) that discusses the potential of the elderly consumer market in Japan and its relationship with the promotion of Hawai‘i tourism. Students will answer reading questions provided by the instructor and prepare for an in-class discussion on the following day.

Technology Tips

Students need access to the internet for this homework. Students are encouraged to use online dictionaries and smartphone apps to look up unfamiliar kanji and expressions in the text.

Task Extension

Students can also read an article (Chéron 2011) in English in order to deepen their understanding about the elderly consumer market (“silver market”) in Japan. (Note: Students are encouraged to read Section 4.5 “Travel” on pages 13-14 in particular.)

Learning about the needs of elderly Japanese tourists

As a homework assignment, students will read authentic texts (online inquiries and responses posted by Japanese speakers) concerning traveling to Hawai‘i with elderly family members. Students answer reading questions provided by the instructor and prepare for an in-class discussion on the following day. Through this task, students will learn what kinds of needs Japanese tourists might have when they travel with their elderly family members.

Q1. Please tell me how elderly person might enjoy a trip to Hawai‘i.

Q2. Please tell me about good places to go with elderly family members in Hawai‘i.

Technology Tips

Students need access to the internet for this homework. Students are encouraged to use online dictionaries and smartphone apps to look up unfamiliar kanji and expressions in the text.

Launching the Project

Preparing for interviews

Students will work in a team of 3 to 4 people for the following tasks:

(1) Students will design interviews with elderly tourists from Japan by writing a list of questions that they want to ask. The purpose of the interviews is to identify the needs of elderly Japanese tourists. They will also discuss which expressions and speech styles are most appropriate for their interview. (Interview Design Worksheet)

(2) According to their design, they will conduct a mock interview with the instructor who will play the role of an elderly tourist from Japan. After each interview, the instructor will provide feedback. Based on this feedback, each team will revise their interview design.

This task requires the students to work in collaboration, receive feedback from the instructor, and reflect upon and revise their previous plans.

Technology Tips

Students will use Google Docs to work on their interview design in a group.

Conducting interviews with the target audience

Students will conduct interviews with elderly Japanese who are on vacation in Hawai‘i in order to identify their needs and concerns. (Note: The instructor will arrange interviews by contacting local organizations, such as Mother Hawaii and Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association [HISLEA], which assist elderly Japanese tourists in Hawai‘i.

Although students work in a team, each student must perform an interview for assessment purposes. Each interview will be video-recorded (or audio-recorded when the interviewee does not allow the use of a camera.) Students will also take notes during the interview.

Watching the video of their own team’s interviews, students will collaborate to identify the tourists’ needs, and discuss what kind of information should be included in their video travel guides.

 

 

Technology Tips

Students may use a smartphone to video-record (or audio-record) their interviews.

Task Extension

Students may also refer to recommendations made by Japanese web writers (specializing Hawai‘i travel information) as they create their travel guides (e.g., “Kaukau Hawaii,” “hajimete no hawai,” etc.)

Managing the Project

Preparing to create a video travel guide

Incorporating all the information collected through the interviews as well as from pre-interview activities, students will create a short video travel guide that provides information that they believe to be particularly useful for elderly tourists from Japan. Students will follow these steps:

(1) Making an outline of their video.

(2) Gallery Walk: Students will write up the outline of their video on a large piece of paper and post it at their “station” in the classroom. Students will then move to the next station and examine another group’s interview design. Students will discuss in groups their classmates’ work and write down: what they like about the work, what they do not like, and what they recommend the creator of the work do to improve it. Using sticky notes in three different colors, students will leave this feedback before moving to another station. Each group will rotate and repeat this activity until students read all other groups’ work.

(3) Incorporating the feedback from their peers, each group creates a timeline for their video-making and decides what role each member will take.

(4) Based on what they have learned about the elderly consumer market, each group will discuss the best way to disseminate their videos to potential elderly tourists from Japan. After each group presents their ideas in class, the teacher will facilitate further discussion so that the class can decide how to disseminate their videos.

Creating a video travel guide

According to their own timeline, students will create a short video travel guide that provides information they believe to be particularly useful for elderly tourists from Japan.

Technology Tips

The instructor makes arrangements to lease necessary equipment (camcorder, tripod, etc.) upon students’ requests. Students are encouraged to use video-editing software that they are familiar with.

Presenting video travel guides to the target audience

The class invites a few elderly Japanese guests (possibly through local organizations like Mother Hawaii and HISLEA). Each group presents their video travel guide to both the guests and their peers, and receives feedback from them. Students will have a chance to revise their video based on the feedback.

The video clips will eventually become accessible to the public through whatever media the students have decided on in class. (See “Preparing for creating a video travel guide.”)

 

Assessment

Interview with elderly Japanese tourists

The instructor will watch the video (or listen to the audio recording) of the students’ interviews with elderly Japanese vacationing in Hawai‘i, and assess the performance of each student. The students will receive the rubric for this assessment before they conduct a mock interview with the instructor.

 

Production of video travel guide

The instructor will assess the outcome of each group’s project (i.e., video travel guides for elderly tourists from Japan) according to the rubric.

 

Implementation Info

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