Published on : Saturday, November 17, 2018
Japan has gradually emerged to become the world’s fastest growing major travel destination. In 2017, a record 28.7 million foreign tourists visited Japan, which is almost 20% more than the previous year. Number of foreign visitors to Japan more than tripled since 2012.
Tokyo considers short-term visitors to be a key source of income that can help offset the long-term structural challenges of a rapidly aging society and population decline.
As key to the nation’s growth strategy, the administration of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has set ambitious targets of 40 million foreign visitors by 2020. It is the year when Tokyo will host the Olympic and Paralympic games. The country aims 60 million visitors by 2030.
The major source of growth has been from neighboring and nearby countries. Over the past five years, the Japanese government has successfully capitalized on the rise of Asia’s globetrotting middle class and a falling yen, with targeted easing of visa requirements for tourists from China and Southeast Asian countries. In 2017, fully 85% of foreign visitors to Japan were from countries in Asia, and over 25% from China alone.
“Diversity” has thus become as a key feature of Japan’s evolving inbound tourism strategy. JNTO’s 2018 “Enjoy my Japan” global campaign is a multiplatform outreach initiative designed to appeal to travellers from North America, Europe, and Australia with off-the-beaten-track images of Japan.