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10/28/2012

Otsu City to open a tourist information center in Kyoto

Aiming to attract tourists who visit Kyoto, Otsu City is to open a tourist information center on October 30 at Keihan Sanjo Station which offers quick access, via the Keishin Line, to Hamaotsu Station, a gateway for the downtown Otsu. The city office will assign two of its officials to manage the center equipped with a large LCD monitor showing the city's major tourist attractions such as Biwako (Lake Biwa) and Hieizan Enryakuji Temple. The tourist information center is scheduled to be run until the end of March 2013, but the extension of its operation will be considered if the center gains popularity.

Mayor Naomi Koshi promised to attract tourists from Kyoto to Otsu in her campaign pledges, and the creation of the tourist information center was conducted in line with her policy. Its social background is that there is a tremendous gap between Kyoto and Otsu in terms of tourism although the two cities are close to each other. There are high expectations for the center as a drive to boost the city's tourism industry.

The tourist information center opens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday except Year-end and New Year holidays. In the upcoming autumn when leaves turn red, however, the center will extend its business hours, and affiliated organizations like the Biwako Otsu Tourism Association will dispatch its staff members to conduct advertising campaigns to attract more tourists to the city.

In addtion, the city office will collect information from tourists who visit the center to formulate public policies in the future. "We would like to take a survey to comprehend market developments so that more tourists will visit Otsu," says Mayor Koshi.

(Sankei Shimbun, October 28, 2012)

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