Japan Institute of Tourism Research

Mission Statement

Japan Institute of Tourism Research is an academic organization recognized by the Science Council of Japan. The purpose of the institute is to promote the collaboration of tourism researchers and contribute to the advancement of tourism research. With the original members of some 120 researchers, the former body of the institute was established under the name of “Federation of Researchers for Tourism in Japan” in l986. After eight years of its development as a research-based organization, the federation changed its name to JITR in 1990 to set forth a new beginning in order to enlarge its activities and expand its research resources. The JITR has now become an all encompassing organization ever since the establishment, composed of leading researchers and educators in the most advanced areas of their respective research fields.
Combined with a researchers’ network in interdisciplinary fields, JITR actively promotes discussions of tourism theories and generates a foundation of academic structure in tourism, while playing a leading role in expanding tourism research with a view to the future. JITR is also dedicated to the international exchange of human resources in furthering the worldwide study of tourism.

The History of JITR

Year 1986 May The foundation meeting of the “Federation of Researchers for Tourism in Japan” was held.
June The first newsletter of the federation was published.
Nov The first annual conference was held over two days.
Day 1: Symposium with the theme, “Toward the Study of Tourism”
Day 2: Presentations by researchers
Year 1987 May The first bi-annual journal, “The Tourism Studies” was published.
Year 1990 July The first bi-annual research meeting (Jan and July) was held.
Year 1994 May The name of the federation was changed to “Japan Institute of Tourism Research” at the 9th General Assembly.
Nov A research session was established in each field of tourism research.
Year 1996 Sep JITR became a member of the Science Council of Japan and is eligible to participate in the election of the council members.
Year 2003 July Opening of the Kasnsai branch office.
Year 2007 Apr Opening of the Kyushu/Korea branch office.
May JITR set up an annual research awards in the categories of books and research papers.
Year 2008 May The first annual research awards were presented at the General Assembly.
Year 2009 Sep The journal style was fully altered.
Nov JITR started to issue ten volumes + one supplementary volume of the grand study of tourism. Vol. 1 “The Foundation of Tourism Study” and Vol. 9 “Tourism Policy” were published.
Year 2013 Mar Vol.4 “Tourist Behavior” was published.

An overview of Activities

Toward international exchange as a center of tourism research in Japan
General Assembly
The general assembly is held on the last Saturday of May every year, and is followed by lectures, a symposium, and poster sessions.

Annual Conference

The annual conference is held for two days at the end of November or beginning of December every year. The first day includes excursions, a symposium, and a get-together, and study presentations and poster sessions by students take place on the second. The call to submit research papers for presentation is between early August and late September. Papers submitted by the presenting members in advance of the convention will be published in a “Proceedings of JITR Annual Conference”

Research Subcommittees

Groups have been set up to conduct research for 1–3 years to present new views on tourism research, and to analyze and assess emerging tourism activities. The outcomes will be published in our bulletin Kanko Kenkyu [The Tourism Studies]. Grants within 100 thousand yen per fiscal year are awarded per research topic, totaling 300 thousand yen for a maximum of 3 years. Every year, five study projects are selected at most. The call for projects is around mid-December to the end of February.

Special Studies of the Great East Japan Earthquake

In 2011 and from October 2013 to September 2014, we called for research into six prefectures in the Tohoku region and the prefectures of Ibaraki and Chiba, covering the status of tourist sites affected by the Great East Japan earthquake, damage to the tourist industry, impact of cutbacks in travel on tourist sites, attitudes towards travel among Japanese citizens after the earthquake, status of places that suffered loss of reputation, and other tourism research related to the earthquake. The total amount awarded was 1 million yen. Five groups received aid, each group receiving not more than 200 thousand yen.

Information Research Gatherings

These gatherings are held every January and July. Members and guest speakers present “contemporary issues” facing tourism for discussion.

Japan Institute of Tourism Research Awards

Research papers by individual members demonstrating significant promise and potential in the field of tourism research are given the “Young Researcher Award,” academic writings advancing or developing tourism research are given the “Tourism Book of the Year Award (Academic),” and general writings advancing or developing the tourism industry or popularizing or raising awareness of tourism culture are given the “Tourism Book of the Year Award (General).” The award ceremony takes place at the general meeting in May. The call for submissions is from early October to mid-December.

Branch Activities

Kansai Branch

Established in 2003, the branch consists of members residing in Honshu in prefectures westward of Ishikawa, Fukui, Shiga, and Mie, prefectures eastward of Hiroshima and Shimane, and four prefectures in Shikoku. Keeping close contact with the headquarters of the institute, it aims to promote more active research in the Kansai region of Japan to contribute to the development of regional tourism research and promote regional tourism.

Kyushu and Southern South Korea Branch

Established in 2007, this branch consists of members residing in Kyushu in Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima, and in southern South Korea in Busan City, North Kyongsang, South Kyongsang, South Cholla, North Cholla, South Chungchong, and North Chungchong (and Cheju). Keeping close contact with the headquarters of the institute, it aims to promote more active research in Kyushu and southern South Korea to contribute to the development of regional tourism research, promote regional tourism, and further international tourism exchanges.

Tohoku Branch

Established in 2015, consists of members residing in Aomori, Akita, Yamagata, Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. Keeping close contact with the headquarters of the institute, it aims to promote more active research in the Tohoku region to contribute to the development of regional tourism research and promote regional tourism.


The Tourism Studies

Published as the bulletin of the institute twice a year (September and March), it carries feature articles written by the members of its editorial committee, contributions by members, and documentation of research presented at institute meetings. All general contributions from members are published after peer reviews. In addition to distribution to members, it can be purchased by non-members.

Manuscripts published in “The Tourism Studies” will be released on J-STAGE.

The Grand Study of Tourism

Ten volumes and supplements are scheduled for publication. Currently, four volumes have been issued from Hara Shobo: Kankogaku no kiso [The Foundation of Tourism Study], Kanko seisakuron [Tourism Policy], Kanko kodoron [Tourist Behavior], and Kanko sangyoron [Tourism Industries].

Proceedings of JITR Annual Conference

Papers submitted in advance by presenting members at the national convention as well as presentation scripts for the poster sessions at the general meeting in May are published every November. A CD with abstracts has been sent to the members since the thirtieth convention (2015). Regular print editions are now on sale for members and non-members.

Presentation Copies

The institute introduces books written by members. Copies sent to the institute’s secretariat will be introduced in bulletins and on the website.

Membership Privileges

– May contribute to the bulletin Kanko Kenkyu [The Tourism Studies].
– May apply for subcommittees, awards, research presentations at the national convention, and poster sessions.
– May attend informal research get-togethers (twice a year).
– May participate in any branch activities.
– May receive copies of the bulletin Kanko Kenkyu (twice a year), a CD of collected academic papers from the annual conference, and abstracts (once a year).
– May receive four bulletins a year, e-mail newsletters approximately once a month, and, occasionally, the e-mail magazine.
– May purchase copies of institute publications at special member prices.