Japan experienced record high visitor number last year with low shopping spree

Published on : Friday, January 18, 2019

Last year, the tourist number visiting Japan hit a record high as did in terms of their spending in the country, regardless of a series of natural disasters that closed down major airports on a temporary basis.


However the growth rate of both measures slowed considerably, showing financial benefits of inbound tourism may be starting to diminish.


In 2018, spending by those visitors totaled 4.5 trillion yen ($41.3 billion), as per preliminary data released Wednesday by the Japan Tourism Agency.


Last year, the agency altered its method of calculation. Utilizing the previous calculation method, the spending figure increased almost 8.7% in 2018, a drop from the previous year’s 17.8%, the agency said.


Spending per visitor reduced in size by 0.9% to 153,000 yen, as Chinese visitors have lessened their shopping sprees to a certain extent. Consumption per person Chinese visitor decreased 2.9%, with Australians outdoing them as top-spending visitors.


The number of inbound travelers increased 8.7% on the year to a record high of 31.19 million. Majority of the growth came from elsewhere in Asia, with Chinese visitors rising by 21.8% and Thailand by 14.7%, the Japan Tourism Agency said.


The number of overseas tourists visiting Japan has increased for seven consecutive years.


However, the rate of growth in last year has slowed considerably from the previous year’s 19%. An immense earthquake that hit Osaka in June and floods in July prompted many people to cancel trips they had planned.


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