Destination Award Finalist
The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau (TCKTB) is a tiny office with a huge mission, to develop and promote Japan's remote spiritual heartland, into a quality, sustainable tourism destination open to the world. The Kumano region represents a unique cultural landscape, part of the World Heritage property "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range". Through strategically planned projects with a diversity of stakeholders, the TCKTB strives to build a strong foundation for a sustainable future by focusing on preservation, cultivating human resources, and developing effective tourism systems. Grassroots development initiatives include innovative training seminars, and the Kumano Travel Community Reservation System, a bilingual website for local businesses to connect with the growing online market. A pioneering joint promotion project with the Turismo de Santiago de Compostela successfully joins the Way of St. James and the Kumano Kodo, the only two pilgrimage routes registered as World Heritage.