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Qualitative Tourism Study on Japanese women living and visiting Baltic Sea Region cities

9th January, 2012: This qualitative study was done among Japanese women living in Warsaw, Berlin, Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn and St. Petersburg and visiting these cities as tourists. A goal of the study was to talk to Japanese women to get their view, feelings and opinion about attractiveness of each of the city. Seperate study was made first in Helsinki.

Study in Warsaw, Berlin, Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn and St. Petersburg (pdf)
Study in Helsinki (pdf)

Riga appeared to evoke mostly positive reactions and feelings among Japanese tourists and residents. Compact size and touristic quality of Old Town must be regarded as a strength of Riga – it provides a feeling of „complete journey” made within one or two days. 

Reactions to Tallinn in general can be regarded as the most commonly and the most visibly positive or even enthusiastic compared to all other cities taken under consideration in the project. This enthusiastic opinion was coming both from tourists and residents and it can be described as a reaction to a good combination of tradition and modernity.

Vilnius – similarly to Riga and Tallinn – appeared to be a very positive surprise and a place to be really liked, both by tourists and residents. There is also an element of authenticity that creates a communicational potential of Vilnius – it was a city which is perceived as the least commercialised. 

St. Petersburg appeared to be the most controversial city from among all included in the project. A beauty connected with the past, European style, visible similarities to most famous European capitals is a huge advantage and potential of the city. 

Warsaw seems to be quite inconsistent. This kind of incoherence and even chaos makes it quite unique in the eyes of Japanese tourists and residents. Warsaw gives a feeling of modernising, changing place within Europe, which is attractive for Japanese tourists. 

Berlin seems to be very different than all other cities included in the project –it is definitely the most modern, most Western (in terms of lifestyle, mentality), most multicultural and open city from all.

The Study (pdf) 

The information gotten from the Japanese ladies confirmed the supposed image of Helsinki accurate. Both residents and tourists felt that Helsinki was stress free city, where everyone could be themselves. Interviewees felt that they had “ability to breathe”.

Study on Helsinki (pdf)

Study in Warsaw, Berlin, Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn and St. Petersburg (pdf)
Study in Helsinki (pdf)


Part-financed by the European Union
(European Regional Development Fund)