Brushing up my Spanish by listening to news podcasts

To provide better services at Travel Stand Japan, I have started brushing up my Spanish by listening to news podcasts while commuting. This should help me (1) inquire/reserve hotels, buses, etc. on behalf of Japanese customers visiting Spain and (2) discuss with our foreign customers from e.g. Mexico. Will I soon guide tourists in Tokyo in Spanish language? For that, I should learn specialized vocabulary too: cherry blossom, tea ceremony, Buddhist temple, Shinto shrine… 🙂



  • Travel Stand Japan = トラベルスタンドジャパン (Torabelu-Sutando-Japan).
  • Tokyo = 東京.

“BSTi & Japan’s travel industry” seminar at Trajal Hospitality & Tourism College (Tokyo)

This afternoon, I joined a seminar in Japanese at Trajal Hospitality & Tourism College (Tokyo, Japan) to discuss the future of BSTi and Japan, meet colleagues from other Japanese travel agencies, and celebrate the 80th anniversary of the academy’s principal YAMADA Manabu… Impressively, a specialist even flew from Tottori prefecture just to attend this seminar!

Healthy and witty, Mr. Yamada opened the seminar with a stimulating speech inciting us to (1) enjoy life and work, (2) make a better world through travel and (3) organize our BSTi human network to empower Japan’s tourism industry while serving society. The audience was asked to discuss the third point in small groups for an hour then to share the main ideas with everybody. My group imagined an online platform to support inbound travel in Japan before the 2020 Olympic Games while other groups considered outbound travel, local/national benefits, experience sharing, yearly events… Finally, Mr. Yamada gently closed the seminar.

I was glad to share a good moment with Mr. Yamada and with several heart-warming travel agents from BSTi alumni in Japan! This time, I skipped the post-seminar party but other events should soon gather us in Tokyo 🙂

旅行産業経営塾 (Business School of Travel Industry = BSTi)



  • YAMADA Manabu = 山田・學.
  • BSTi = Business School of Travel Industry = 旅行産業経営塾 (ryoko-sangyo-keiei-juku).
  • Trajal = 学校法人トラベルジャーナル学園 (gakko-hojin toraberu-janaru-gakuen), Hospitality & Tourism College = ホスピタリティツーリズム専門学校 (hosupitariti-tsurizumu-senmon-gakko).
  • Tokyo = 東京, Tottori prefecture = 鳥取県 (Tottori-ken).

Now inbound travel manager in Tokyo at the Japanese travel agency TRAVEL STAND JAPAN

Sébastien Duval enjoying koyo at Nagatoro (Saitama prefecture, Japan) on 30 November 2013.Since Monday 09 December 2013, I work at the Travel Stand Japan travel agency in 東京 (Tokyo), happily managing the “inbound” business (services for foreign tourists in Japan). I notably analyse the inbound market, propose strategies, investigate special destinations and experiences, establish partnerships, inform travellers, propose selected activities and tours, plan and sell personalized trips, make reservations, translate, advertise, and promote Japan and the Japanese culture abroad.

Being a travel agent here should help me (1) better know Japan and its tourism industry, (2) prepare my 1-year tour around Japan, and (3) make a better world. I will hopefully get foreigners and Japanese to share their best, empower local businesses needing linguistic/cultural support, and channel holiday trips in Japan towards ecotourism and spiritual tourism. To increase my chances, I am already preparing the exam to become a Licensed Interpreter Guide in Japan…

I love the friendly ambiance of Travel Stand Japan, discuss mainly in Japanese with my 3 nice Japanese colleagues and with our partners, speak English and French with our customers (no Korean or Spanish yet), and enjoy the project! Moreover, I can reach the travel agency from home by subway and on foot in 50 minutes, normally work from 09:30 to 18:30 on weekdays, have weekends and Japanese national holidays off, and can buy delicious lunch boxes at the closest convenience store for only 390 yens 🙂

If you (or acquaintances) plan a trip in Japan or multi-country travel in Asia, ask me for advice/proposals based on my interests, connexions and unique experiences in Japan! Residents and travellers wishing to volunteer in Fukushima/Tohoku are also welcome 🙂