“Long Stay” is one of the new lifestyles that expands the diversity of experience by having people live in an area for a relatively long period of time, getting them involved in their community through daily life, and sharing different cultures, practices, and values through exchanges with local people instead of merely participating in sight-seeing tours. Recently, the lifestyles and values of Japanese people have become diversified, and the number of people who make domestic and overseas long-stay trips has been increasing every year as a result of the progress of globalization and the development of the Internet, airline networks, and other technological advances.
Long-stay trips are rapidly expanding, not only among senior citizens, but also among young people. Long-stay trips contain various elements that help people achieve spiritual enrichment and refresh themselves according to their individual lifestyles by playing, learning, enjoying, and seeking fulfillment of life.
Overseas long-stay trips provide a good opportunity to communicate with foreign people, learn about foreign cultures and practices, and rediscover Japan from the outside. During long-stay trips, people travel like they’re native to the area and renew their understanding of Japan’s proud culture, history, and nature, as well as by finding opportunities to introduce their culture to foreigners. Long-stay trips deepen mutual understanding through cross-cultural exchanges and can contribute to world peace and international friendships by communicating and having exchanges with local people.
Meanwhile, the number of domestic long-stay travelers is also increasing every year. It is estimated that approximately 8.5 million people enjoy long-stay trips every year for such purposes as staying in a comfortable place during hot summers and cold winters. The expansion of domestic long-stay trips has generated a new lifestyle trend of “experiencing, exchanging, and learning.” A new concept of “long-stay before relocation” is also spreading with a vision of regional creation. The concept is expected to be a powerful tool for increasing people’s exchanges in the future.
Japan is aiming to become a tourism-developed country, so the importance of long-stay trips is increasing every year. In that sense, the role of the Long Stay Foundation is also expanding. The foundation intends to continue to transmit the appeal of long-stay trips through various projects, develop an environment for long-stay trips, and promote two-way human and cultural exchange activities in Japan and abroad so that more people can achieve their goals for long-stay trips which are safe, healthy, enjoyable, and full of meaning.
I hope to have your continued understanding and cooperation with the activities of the Long Stay Foundation.