To revitalize the region and preserve the environment for rural areas, rural tourism has been developed that provides services such as farming experience, stay-in exchange with the local community, utilizing nature, culture and industrial resources in the rural areas of Europe and Japan.
However, concerning the rural tourism in Japan which was introduced from Europe, there are still questions as to how the occupancy rate, seasonality, and low income will affect the rural areas. During the inbound tourism boom, accepting foreign visitors to Japan has become a problem even in rural areas due to aging of the population. Therefore, since 2013, nationwide seminars and lectures about foreign tourists’ activities have been actively held in order to promote rural tourism which foreigners find attractive. It is important to consider what kind of measures are effective to respond to inbound tourists in rural tourism.
This article focuses on farm-inn owners, who are important actors in rural tourism in Ajimu town in Kyushu. Through questionnaires and interviews, we surveyed and analyzed the attitudes of farm-inn owners on rural tourism. Then, we examined the current state of management and cooperation within the local area and clarified the actual conditions and issues of rural tourism. The article aims to consider the role of farm-inn owners in local and rural tourism, especially sustainable rural tourism, and possible responses to inbound tourism.