Okayama University


Travel Itinerary Proposed by Okayama University Students Wins Award at Tetsu Tabi of the Year 2020

May 07, 2021

Testu Tabi of the Year announced the results of its 2020 competition at an awards ceremony on April 21. The competition honors travel itineraries that promote travel by rail, ranking entries according to their planning ability and originality. Okayama University students from the Associate Professor HIDAKA Yuichiro’s research seminar (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Economics, Specialty: Marketing) won the Destination Campaign (DC) category award for their proposed itinerary, called “Setouchi-Hiroshima Destination Campaign: Go with JR! (Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd.) Setouchi Special”, which is based around the Kurashiki and Kojima area.

Testu Tabi of the Year recognizes creative travel itineraries made for existing rail routes that have been published and distributed to the public. In its 10th year, the 2020 awards evaluated travel itineraries distributed during the period from November 2019 to October 2020. Of the 45 entries received, 5 were awarded special commendations and 1 received the grand prize.

The 5 students who proposed the itinerary were 3rd year students in Associate Professor Hidaka’s research seminar in 2019. Their proposed itinerary focused on the theme of “handmade” and targeted women in their 20s and 30s, promoting mini excursions and introducing the charm of local resources in the Kurashiki and Kojima area. In response to tourism issues in this area, which range from old-fashioned attractions to standardized sightseeing experiences, the students managed to devise an imaginative itinerary that showcases the area’s unique assets and local resources while focusing on the theme of “handmade” and trying to increase customer satisfaction.

The students conceptualized their plan as part of a marketing campaign that would be published by Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd.. It was originally made for an interuniversity competition for marketing students in 2019. After coming in first place, the plan was published as an official itinerary in 2020.

At the award ceremony for Testu Tabi of the Year, the itinerary was praised for meeting the criterion of “appealing to customers who are not exclusively railway enthusiasts” because of its variety of excursions. In addition, the judges commented, "The area offers many options for sightseeing, but as a result, customers often have to look up a route for themselves. Thanks to this collaboration with Okayama University, customers can enjoy the ease of following a model course that makes it possible to travel in the region with peace of mind. As such, we feel that this itinerary could also be useful for regional development. "