April 27, 2020
Elma DIDAS (Ms.)
Assessment and Inspection Officer
Hello everyone! I am Elma DIDAS (Ms.) and am fortunate to be given an opportunity as a successful candidate to participate in the JICA training course "Community Tourism Promotion Course" under the Young Leaders Program in JICA Hokkaido Center, Japan from January 27, 2020 to February 13, 2020. I am working as an Assessment and Inspection Officer in the Department of Tourism within the Ministry of Trades, Tourism, Industries and Ni-Vanuatu Business.
Firstly, I want to thank JICA in developing such a wonderful program that allows us to take part on short-term trainings. The time was short but it was full of learnings and most importantly full of great experience that will be remembered. From the time we landed at Tokyo Airport till the plane took off from Kushiro Airport, Japanese were the reason behind this great experience. They were so humble, respectful, polite and always show appreciation towards their environment and natural resources.
In addition, the weather (winter) in Hokkaido was another experience for me. I've never experienced winter (snow) before. It was amazing how Japanese are creative in organising festival such as ice festival to attract domestic tourists.
Also the way they are keeping their history and make it known to others. The way they value what was part of them in the past and developing museum to make it known to others was fascinating.
Finally wearing the Japanese Costume Kimono was a great experience. It was amazing seeing their excitement in sharing their culture with us (Pacific Island Participants). Thank you once again to JICA and VIPAM for the opportunity.
Ms. Elma DIDAS, front row, second on the right along with other training participants and the Deputy Mayor of Kushiro region, fourth from the right, front row.