Adventure tourism opportunities in Japan with Mike Harris

Jandals in Japan

23-04-2023 • 1時間 8分

Mike Harris arrived in Japan in the 90's to find a wonderland of adventure tourism opportunities. Listen to hear how he was able to persuade local stakeholders to see that adventure tourism is a good thing for an area and how he is helping struggling small towns to create their own destinations. If you are in adventure tourism and looking to expand to Japan or enhance your adventure tourism business in New Zealand, then this is the episode for you.

Subscribe to our list so you never miss an episode of Jandals in Japan

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Head over to Apple Podcasts to leave a review and we’d love it if you would come and say hi (or Kia Ora or Konnichi Wa!) over on @jandalsinjapan on Instagram.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Mike discovered the untapped potential of Japan’s outdoors
  • Building a world class adventure tourism business when there are no regulations
  • Strategies for working with and winning over the trust of local stakeholders
  • How Mike is helping communities throughout Japan to develop their *DMOs and attract new kinds of tourists

About Mike

After graduating with degrees in business and Japanese from university in New Zealand, Mike has been involved in adventure tourism in Japan since the early 90’s.

As one of the pioneers of the industry he created Japan’s first canyoning company, Canyons, and is also credited with introducing international safety standards and best practices.

His 25 years in the Japan tourism industry at multiple levels have led to a deep understanding of tourism marketing and management.

He currently works at the national level for the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Tourism, Cool Japan Awards and Japan National Parks League, advising in areas of tourism strategy, operations and marketing.

Mike also works at the local level as a board member of the Minakami Tourism Association (a *Destination Marketing Organisation or “DMO”), chairman of the Minakami Outdoor Association, and also consults in many rural areas for adventure tourism, inbound tourism and destination development.

When he has free time you can find him exploring new Canyons around the world, backcountry skiing or enjoying a few craft beers while watching the rugby

Connect with Mike


Kodo Travel:

Outdoor Japan:

Jandals in Japan is brought to you by Catherine O’Connell Law and PodLaunch with Jayne

Connect with Jayne and Catherine

Linked In: