Recovering from prolonged negative destination images in post-disaster northern Japan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The Tohoku Region in northern Japan was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Although much of the physical infrastructure has since been restored, annual tourism numbers have yet to restore to pre-disaster levels. In some areas, tourism recovery remains stagnant. The objective of this research is to examine how local decision-makers utilize media strategies to deal with image-related crises and reverse negative images to combat stereotypes and deliver successful campaign messages. The study has found that each of the prefectures affected by the disasters has since utilized different campaign strategies with some, such as Fukushima, focusing on the future, while others, such as Aomori, utilized a mixture disassociating itself from the troubled area and associating itself with its more prestigious neighbor. Much of these negative images stem from persisting images of region-wide safety fears over natural hazards and radiation concerns. This study suggests that further research needs to be done to identify the different risk perceptions of foreign tourists by country, as some groups such as Koreans are more risk averse leading to a sharp decline in visits, while others such as Taiwanese who are accustomed to natural hazards are leading in visitor numbers and tourism recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunity, Environment and Disaster Risk Management
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameCommunity, Environment and Disaster Risk Management
ISSN (Print)2040-7262
ISSN (Electronic)2040-7270


  • Disasters
  • Japan
  • Negative image
  • Place-marketing
  • Tourism recovery


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