Creative and Sustainable Tourism: The Case of Ainu in Japan


  • Edgar Bellow
  • Thomas Majd
  • Cecilia Casalegno



Ainu-Japan, Joint Interests, Local Value Creation, Creative Tourism, Multi Stakeholders Initiatives, Power Imbalance.


Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing business sectors and a key economic contributor around the world. In Japan, Hokkaido is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international tourists because it provides a unique natural landscape, climate, and culture due to its geographic location and the presence of the Ainu. The Ainu population are an indigenous people of Japan and Russia. Despite the Ainu are one of the oldest examples and signs of tradition and heritage, one of the biggest challenges for them to play a key role in tourism is relating to the relationship’s imbalances with other members of the community. To this end, the aim of the paper is to explore the nature of relationships in the region, under the lens of stakeholder theory. We illustrate some possible avenues to restore the Ainu as protagonists of value creation processes in their own community, which might increase the benefit for tourists, sustainable performances of the area and the happiness and wellbeing of such vulnerable community.




How to Cite

Bellow, E., Majd, T., & Casalegno, C. (2019). Creative and Sustainable Tourism: The Case of Ainu in Japan. Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, (2), 119–132.