Japan hikes tourism funds to lure more foreigners

Published on : Friday, December 18, 2015

JapanThe government of Japan plans to double the tourism agency’s budget for fiscal 2016 to boost efforts to attract more foreign tourists, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.


The Japan Tourism Agency will receive more than 20 billion yen ($163 million) for the year starting in April, double the amount of recent years and a third more than the 14.2 billion yen budget it requested, they said.


Some 17.96 million foreign tourists visited Japan from January to November, already surpassing the annual record of 13.41 million set last year.


With the increased budget, the agency is expected to increase free Wi-Fi services for foreign visitors at airports and stations, and remodel Japanese-style toilets at traditional inns into Western-style, the sources said.


The fund may also be used to promote tours involving cultural and local specialties to attract even more foreign travellers, they said.


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