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Ayako Kamioka, Assistant manager, H.I.S. EUROPE, UK

When and how did you get involved in the tourism industry?


My interest in tourism began as a student, when I studied about hospitality as part of an English programme that I participated in, in San Diego.

Also experiencing an internship at an online travel agent, I started working for H.I.S., my current workplace, in 2005. Three years later I was given the opportunity to work in our overseas office, one of my long time aspirations, which leads me to today.

What are the most important attributes of a good travel agent/tour operator?

I believe the ability to collect and keep radars out for information is very important.

A good tour operator would need to be able to grasp what the customer wants from their inquiry, and offer them precise information and advice that they need for their most ideal trip.

What is the most frequently asked question that your company receives from customers?

Because I work in the inbound section, I correspond with customers arriving from Japan. Customers from Japan tend to ask questions about general information, such as prices of food, security, tourist spots and restaurant recommendations. In such cases, I always strive to answer from the tourist’s point of view.

What are the must-visits and must-dos in Japan that no one should miss?

Kurokawa Onsen, a hot spring, in Kumamoto Prefecture would be my recommendation.

The area is well-known and popular in Japan, but at the same time small local Japanese style inns (ryokan) line up in the streets and the place has a great atmosphere. You can also eat seasonal foods of Kumamoto and enjoy various kinds of hot springs.