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Discovering Possibilities for Tourism and Services from the Perspective of Foreigners;
Increased Chance of "Response to Change" for Personnel and the Region

Hotel yokikan Co.,Ltd.Hotel yokikan Co.,Ltd.

企業企業Hotel yokikan Co.,Ltd.

Yamaguchi/Hotel Management

インターンインターンChyntiana Setiawan

Indonesia/Graduated from PASIM National University,Literature


Raising Awareness for Attracting Foreign Customers and Building a Base for Solving Regional Problems

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
Our major reason for accepting interns was to prepare for handling the recently increased number of inbound tourists. We operate a hotel/ryokan business in Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, but due to the decreasing population, decreasing birthrate, and aging population, it is expected that we will have a shortage of personnel and that there will be a remarkable decrease in the number of Japanese customers going forward. We are also well positioned along Japan's west side close to Asia and the issue going forward will be working to attract foreign tourists. For this, we believe language capabilities and an understanding of religion and customs will be unavoidable for improving hospitality for foreign guests. By taking on interns our employees will be able to experience different religions, customs, values, and languages and we hope to raise awareness for improved hospitality and to foster a can-do spirit. Additionally, by introducing highly skilled foreign personnel, we expected to build a base for the resolving of regional problems and so we decided to accept this intern.



Unearthing Possibilities for Tourism/Service Development from the Perspective of Foreigners

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
In order to have our intern gain an understanding of the Japanese hotel/ryokan business, we had her experience on-the-job-training for a variety of services, from guiding customers to ikebana flower arrangement and working the attendant's booth for the hot springs. Through these sorts of activities, the intern commenced marketing research on the goals and needs of foreign customers and on popular tourist sites. Based on these results, the intern participated in the examination of what aspects of tourism and what services should be developed by our company and Nagato City. Additionally, the intern also undertook the translation of our website and pamphlets and created a hotel area tourism guide for foreigners. Furthermore, we had the intern create a manual on Islam and halal markets, an idea originally suggested by the intern. The detailed information on halal food was useful learning material not only for our staff but for the individual in charge of inbound tourists for the municipality. We became aware of three things during this internship: the intern discovered local attractions as seen from her own perspective, she discussed new businesses with us that our company could take on, and we provided opportunities to see local events and meet people. Additionally, because there were significant differences from the climate, religion, and customs of the intern's home country, we also established a support system for daily life.



Drawing Out Flexible Employee Responses and Gaining Insight into Future Business Development

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
From our intern's market research, we were able to discover new regional attractions and the strengths of Japan's hotels and ryokans. Additionally, the intern's bright, carefree personality was a positive influence on the whole workplace and all employees. By taking on an intern with a different way of thinking and different values, our employees were able to escape their fixed ideas and prejudices and think from a broader perspective. We feel that an ability to respond flexibly to change was cultivated. Furthermore, there are more than a few staff and locals encouraged by seeing an intern trying hard to adapt to Japan with its different environment and culture. The intern was often seen at the local supermarket talking with locals and we believe this internship helped to build the regional system for accepting interns. The intern was very quick at her work, achieved more than we asked every time, and had an amazing creativity such as in thinking for herself and creating added value. We would like to grow further as a company by using the ideas obtained from the intern and the results of this exchange for future business development and employee training.



Gaining Firsthand Knowledge of Japan's Hospitality and Learning the Secret to Communication

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
My dream is to become a professional for communication between countries in the future and I applied to be able to experience communication between different cultures. In the internship, I mainly worked on translation, such as translating the website and pamphlets and creating a hotel area tourism map for foreigners, and I also did marketing research on tourist sites and services liked by foreign customers and made promotion proposals based on these results. Additionally, I understood the meaning of "hospitality" by experiencing and studying the services at the hotel and I was able to study actual services. After returning to Indonesia, I will work on research related to communication based on the experiences I gained as an intern and I will receive my master's degree. I am deeply grateful to all those at Yokikan that I was able to have such amazing experiences that will help me in the future.



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China/Graduated from Rikkyo University College of Tourism

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Egypt/Master’s degree at University Technology Malaysia/Civil Engineering

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Malaysia/Graduated from Kyushu University/Marine and Civil Engineering

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Vietnam/Graduated from Vietnam National University/Hanoi Faculty of Japanese Language and Culture

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