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Published on : Thursday, July 20, 2017
According to the Japan Tourism Agency, the number of tourists was raised around 21.1 % compared to same period of the previous year that is from April to July. The tourist spending during the period rose 13 per cent year-on-year to a record ¥1.8tn ($15.8bn).
The figures of the surge in tourism suggest that inbound tourism, which is one of the main impulses for Japan’s economic growth in recent years, continues to grow strongly, fuelled by recent yen weakness.
The spending by tourists from Korea, Hong Kong and other countries was higher than last year, pushing up the total, said the Japan Tourism Agency. The yen is trading at about ¥112 per dollar, having been closer to ¥100 a year ago.
The number of tourists in the quarter from South Korea rose 68 per cent year-on-year to 1.7m, from Hong Kong, which is 38 per cent to 593,000 and Taiwan 8 per cent to 1.3m.
However, the tourists from China, the mainstay of the tourism boom of Japan, rose just 1.8 per cent to 1.6m, while there was a vigorous increase of the guests from the United States, that raised upto15 per cent to 404,000.
The tourism in Japan has grown rapidly, after years in which, the tourism was considered too expensive, remote and difficult to visit. But in the recent years, Japan eases its policy in tourism and achieved its target of 20m annual tourists by 2020 five years early and its new goal is 40m.
The Government of Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan placed tourism at the centre of its growth strategy. The decision of Shinzo Abe is to loosen up the visa restrictions on visitors from China and other developing Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia and India. This policy is one of the biggest factors behind the surge in tourism.
Japan also has the vast possibility in culinary tourism. It is a power of inbound retail tourists, particularly young Chinese. Japan is now growing into a hub of leisure and tourism industries.
The combination of the growth of inbound tourism and the decline of outbound tourism means the rise of Japan tourism in income, which is a turnaround from the huge deficits during its years of rapid economic development.