The News-ish News


No. 29

Hokuroku survey reveals the reputational damage to local businesses after the Noto Peninsula earthquake


In collaboration with a Tokyo-based online media, bizSPA!Fresh, we conducted a fact-finding survey from February 1st to 7th to reveal the reputational damage to local enterprises, such as restaurants and hotels, caused by rumors after the Noto Peninsula Earthquake. The result went public on bizSPA!Fresh on February 10th, 2024.

Relate: “Visit Now” More than 70% of Hokuriku businesses have faced tourists disappearing due to the Noto earthquake, the survey shows

The survey targeted more than 112 businesses in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures and received 47 responses.


The survey method was to randomly send out questionnaire forms to 112 local businesses listed in the latest guidebooks of Ishikawa and Toyama, excluding businesses currently closed.


Additionally, through the human network of our editorial members, we sent the forms to acquaintance businesses.


Types of the respondents were restaurants (61.7%), hotels (17%), multiple businesses of hotels, restaurants, public amusement places, and travel destinations (4.3%), and others (17%).


The locations of respondents are Kanazawa City, Nonoichi City, Nakanoto Town, Noto Town, Kaga City, Komatsu City, Wajima City, Anamizu Town and Kahoku City of Ishikawa Prefecture; and Imizu City, Toyama City, Nanto City, Himi City, Takaoka City, Kurobe City, Uozu City, and Tonami City of Toyama Prefecture.


A summary of the survey results is as follows.

▶Damage status of respondents
・No damage (48.9%)
・Partial damage (51.1%)
▶Changes in foot traffic of customers after the earthquake
・Extreme impact (55.3%)
・Big impact (21.3%)
・Not much impact (17%)
・No impact (6.4%)
▶Feeling for tourists from other prefectures and within the prefecture
・Welcome (93.6%)
・Cannot say either (4.3%)
・Somewhat unwelcome (2.1%)

One month after the earthquake, more than 70% of businesses in the Hokuriku region, excluding the northern and central Noto Peninsula (devasted areas), have been facing a crippling decrease in tourists and local customers, the survey shows. More than 90% of businesses welcome visitors.


Various media content, including a well-known TV show, covered the survey results to promote travel to the Hokuriku region before the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension.

Utilizing these research skills and human networks, our Hokuroku has begun accepting research requests from local clients.

Relate: What is Hokuroku? Click here for job requests

(Comments from our editorial department: As an owner of a local hotel in Toyama Prefecture, I felt grateful for the survey. Whether the reputational damage occurred in a devastated area might be up to the way of media coverage. The damage in Toyama Prefecture was not as severe as the Noto Peninsula, and Toyama could not be a target for reconstruction. Here, however, became a destination not to visit because of reputational damage. I heard similar stories of the Tohoku region during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. In the future earthquake disaster reconstruction, economic damage should be considered disaster damage equal to physical destruction. Akashi, producer.


Even in a rural part of Toyama Prefecture, where I live, almost no tourists came due to reputation damage after the earthquake. I’m relieved that many visitors have returned recently. A friend said that the foot traffic in Kanazawa from January to February was worse than in the years of the coronavirus pandemic. I think the future challenge will be for the government and the media to provide support and information tailored to the actual situation in each small area. Takei, the development producer.)


Story and translation: Masayoshi Sakamoto



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