In the run-up to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Host Advisory Board member Shinya Nishide shared some tips with us on how to facilitate a more enjoyable stay for travellers from other cultural backgrounds. You can read his story here.
Shinya shared lots of good advice on this topic, drawn from his experiences of travelling the world and hosting hundreds of travellers, including the following:
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Communication prior to a stay is essential and offers many opportunities to improve the experience between host and traveller, and avoid misunderstandings.
Shinya encourages the sharing of local culture with travellers, for example by offering them the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. The goal is for them to have an extraordinary stay that leads them to new ways of seeing things and creates a deep connection with Japan and its people.
Hosting people from all over the world and having the opportunity to experience different cultural backgrounds is one of the things that many of you mention as one of the joys of this activity.
Have you ever encountered difficulties when hosting international travellers? What are your best tips for avoiding them, or overcoming them?
Kia ora! @Helen427 Thank you so much for sharing a very heart-warming story.
As you can see in my profile, I spent a year as a student in Wellington, New Zealand. Needless to say, it is one of my favorite countries and a second home to me.
@Helen427 , just as you did for your students, the homestay experience was invaluable and left a huge impact on my personality. My host mother was an Italian Kiwi and my host father was a Maori. I experienced diversity firsthand and learned meaningful friendship and mutual respect in a different culture.
In these challenging times, I would like to do what I can now to re-emphasize the solidarity and respect I have learned.
May we soon be able to travel freely around the world. See you in Japan. Soon!!
P.S. I also have a guestbook in my room. I feel that a handwritten review can touch a person's journey more deeply.
It's important to be as welcoming to others as one would want to be treated by family and friends.
Open arms and an open heart, friendly welcoming smile.
As some may have seen through reading my contributions to ABB CC, I used to keep a plain book/ journal so we could share stories, write the alphabet, numbers, recipes, a piece about themselves and their home land, interests etc as it's a great way to break down barriers and open communication.
I've meet many wonderful people from Osaka, Japan @Shinya0 including through when I hosted those attending English Language schools here in Auckland, New Zealand.
Have you visited our shores Shinya?
I wish we could turn back time and have those fabulous freedoms back in an instant as it's so important for all of our Public Health and economies.
My hopes and dreams, along with I'm sure many others, were to go to Japan to meet up with those who traveled to New Zealand who I hosted and attend the Japan Olympics @Shinya0 .
Sadly that is not to be.
Alas I've many fond memories and through Photograph albums I can hold in my hand, along with the treasured Book of Treasures, and books we were gifted about their lives and places of origin, turn the paper pages without worrying about losing internet connection to see my Japanese friends and relive the Good Ole Times that way instead along with connecting with others who came from wide and afar to New Zealand.
All the best and look forward to seeing our lovely Japanese tourists and friends back on our shores
Central To All Home & Location, Remuera, Auckland , New Zealand
I think traveling is the best education for anyone, but especially for hosts. Every encounter allows both hosts and guests to take in new and refreshing perspectives and ultimately realize that we are the same. I wanted to become a host to learn more about the world and provide guests with invaluable moments and connections like what previous hosts have provided me. Travel by home-sharing showed me that belonging and connection can certainly enrich my lives.
Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games is finally begin. Even in this challenging period, through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I would like to share the understanding that all nations can transcend various differences in culture and nationality, and come together in friendship and solidarity. I also believe that there is much in common with hosting.