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Saturday, 30th August 2014
In Japan Travel News,

Japan to survey tourists

Don't be too surprised if you find yourself asked to download a certain application to your smartphone on your next visit to Japan - it's all in the name of improving the experience for other visitors. 

The Japan Tourism Agency plans to accumulate a large amount of data with regards to what tourists want to do while they're in the country, where they go and the activities they enjoy the most. And it has come up with a pretty ingenious plan to accomplish this.

Foreign visitors who agree to cooperate will be asked to download an application to their mobile phones that tracks their position via global positioning software. The information collected will include the routes that they travel and the tourist attractions that they visit.

But that's not all - with the user's permission, the application will also report on comments they make on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It is hoped these will help the Japan Tourism Agency by providing feedback, which they can then act upon.

The organisation plans to analyse the data before sending it to local governments with a view to suggesting which new tour routes should be set up before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

So while the intrusion may be a little much for some, the Japanese government hopes that the data can be used to make major improvements in time for when the country takes to the world stage as the venue of the biggest sporting event in history.

It is expected that the Japan Tourism Agency will make budget requests of up to 100 million yen (£579,700) for the project, although there is currently no estimation of when it will be put into practice.

However, nobody will be forced to participate and all data will remain private.