Working on the SDGs before being aware of them!? What does Showa Kankosha have in common with the SDGs?
Showa Kankosha, which aims to be a partner for realizing people-friendly tourism and a happy society through universal tourism promotion projects, has the ultimate goal of “filling future society with smiles” through achieving the SDGs. This goal was not adopted because the company was conscious of the SDGs in advance, but rather because it felt that the ongoing efforts that it had been making toward its management philosophy and management vision were in line with the ideas of the SDGs. Based on the belief that the SDGs are the platform for building the society of the future, the company hopes that a variety of people will understand and resonate with its business through the SDGs, and that more people will collaborate with it in achieving its ultimate goal.
Smiles are a sign of spreading happiness.
Showa Kankosha, which strives to make travel enjoyable for everyone, including the elderly and people with disabilities, deals carefully with every individual aspect, including transportation, lodging, sightseeing and meals, by working closely with participants and their family members to understand their purposes and problems and also asking them if they have any problems while traveling, in an effort to eliminate any anxieties from their mind. The driving force behind such efforts is the smiles and appreciative comments of its customers who are moved and delighted by its services.
The “Customers’ Voices” section on the company’s website is full of smiling photos and expressions of gratitude from customers who had previously given up on the idea of ever being able to travel in their lifetime. Mr. HIRAMORI, the Representative Director of the company, couldn’t help but smile as he was infected by the smiles of the customers. We think that a smile is one of the signs that we are getting closer to achieving the SDGs. Showa Kankosha’s wish to spread smiles can also be said to be a form of the SDGs.
Strengths developed during the COVID-19 pandemic
In this interview, one of the points where we felt there was a connection between what the company was thinking about its business and the SDGs was the fact that the company regarded the COVID-19 pandemic as a positive thing for it. As the reasons for holding this view, the company said that it was able to spend time creating a website where anyone, including the elderly and people with disabilities, can choose from a wide variety of hot spring hotels, together with developing a diverse range of travel products. Also, through barrier-free mindset training for accommodation facilities and support for people-friendly stay-type tourism, it was able to develop human resources with hospitality, and to work toward the realization of a sustainable future together with the local residents who have an affinity with this goal.
We felt that these initiatives were contributing to the spread of barrier-free practices and helping to achieve the SDGs through partnerships. We also thought that we, as students, should further communicate the SDGs from the perspective of helping to spread them.
We conducted interviews!
HAMAOKA Chisaki （1st year student, Eikei University of Hiroshima）
NAITO Rinka （1st year student, Yasuda Women’s University）
Showa Kankosha Co., Ltd.
828-2 Otada, Kurose-cho, Higashihiroshima City