Jan 19, 2023

Sylff@Tokyo: Integrating Disaster Management into Tourism Development

Imran, center

The Sylff Association secretariat was pleased to welcome Sarojini Imran, a 1999–2001 fellowship recipient at the University of Indonesia, on January 13, 2023, as our first visitor of the new year. It has been over 10 years since we last met her at the BABA (Building A Better Asia) retreat in the city of Nara in 2011. This time, she was visiting Japan as a member of a research team on public-private partnerships in disaster management in tourist areas.

Imran is currently teaching in the Faculty of Tourism at the University of Pancasila in Indonesia and heads the faculty’s Research and Community Service Unit. An expert of urban planning, she has extensive knowledge that can be applied to tourism development and enjoys working in the field.

Rural areas in Indonesia have high tourism potential because of their cultural assets and natural beauty. But steps must also be taken, Imran says, to manage the natural disasters that often strike those areas. Her research team, comprising university colleagues and a government official, chose to study Japan because the country, like Indonesia, also experiences many earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. Her team visited Nagoya, Sendai, and Fukushima to gain insights into disaster management through interviews with government officials, hotel managers, and transport operators.

In addition to describing her current research activities, Imran shared her views on how the Sylff community can enrich fellows’ career development. As longstanding chair of the University of Indonesia’s Fellows Association, her current challenge is to attract new Association members in the post-COVID era. She hopes to draw on her academic experience to strengthen cooperation among members of the global Sylff community.

We want to thank Imran deeply for choosing to visit us on her only free day during her Japan visit and for sharing her valuable observations on ways to make the Sylff network more useful for fellows. We wish her continued success in her future endeavors.