International Dark-Sky Association
sustainable tourism development
In recent years, astro-tourism has started to attract an increasing number of tourists, both internationally and in Japan. Astro-tourism is defined as an activity where people travel from their place of residence in order to look up at beautiful starry sky and celestial bodies. Despite its growing popularity in Japan, there are few academic studies on astro-tourism. The purpose of this paper is therefore to conduct a review of the English language research on astro-tourism and build a framework for future research concerning astro-tourism research in Japan. As a result of the analysis, four key areas of research were identified: (i) astro-tourism research has been indirectly mentioned by astronomers since the 2000s; (ii) case studies of astro-tourism research tend to be studies in sites where there are international observatories or are certificated by the International Dark-sky Association (IDA); (iii) astro-tourism research has been gradually increasing in the international tourism literature since 2010; and (iv) the subject of astro-tourism research occupies dark place. Based on this review, we argue it is necessary to begin astro-tourism research from the perspective of tourism studies in Japan.