On 19 December 2022, UNU-IAS held a seminar on the theme "Tourism and the SDGs — Culture and Tourism in Kanazawa in 2030". The online event explored the role of local culture in promoting sustainable tourism and regional development. The event was part of a seminar series on tourism and the SDGs organised by the UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK).
Yuya Tsuda (Research Consultant, UNU-IAS) and Reiko Yoshida (Head of the Programmes and Stakeholders Outreach Unit, UNESCO) discussed the links between culture, creative industries, and the SDGs, highlighting the potential for culture-based regional development. Satomi Nakagawa (Account Executive, TripAdvisor) noted the strong interest of global travelers in sustainable tourism and the importance of community-led storytelling. She introduced three examples of culture-related tourist attractions in Kanazawa. The 150-years-old Kutani Kosengama pottery kiln is an example of local artisanship which incorporates sustainable practices, demonstrating that traditional culture can inspire and contribute to future sustainability initiatives. kanazaWAZA Institute is involved in traditional and folk culture projects, and has recently developed a new SDGs initiative that uses art as a way to solve problems. 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art aims to function as an interactive, community-building space while preserving Kanazawa’s distinctive cultural traditions.
In closing, Tsunao Watanabe (Senior Program Coordinator, UNU-IAS ) emphasised that the key to sustainable tourism was regional development rooted in local biocultural diversity.