I’m now in Kyoto on business.
Never before have I seen Gion so deserted.
What effects will shutting down the city because of COVID-19 have on the post-COVID era?
It’s important to make use of digital transformation to resolve the contradiction between “refusing visitors who are just having a look” and “revitalizing inbound tourism.”
Kyoto’s economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism especially in recent years, has seen a 70% decline in income due to COVID-19.
We need to take this opportunity to implement a thorough structural reform.
First of all, it’s not possible to convert everything unique that Kyoto has to offer to online merchandise for sale. But how about converting customers in the real world to online customers instead and cater to their needs online?
Even now, there are some sweets and desserts that you have to wait in line to buy, but these items should be actively sold by introducing an online credit score.
For instance, shops can raise the credit score level of those who place many pre-orders and treat them as VIPs in the post-COVID era. These shops should also open their doors to the acquaintances of customers with high credit scores, even if they are tourists from overseas.
In other words, the scope of this credit system should not be limited to Kyoto and its historical attractions. By setting new requirements for the use of credit, we can transform Kyoto into a city that remains relevant in the 21st century.
Before the weather turns cold next year, it would be a good idea to introduce vaccine tourism and offer free vaccination for all visiting tourists.