Published on : Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Though the current tourism figures represent less than half the peak that was reached in the late 1900s, the official figures portray that the arrivals from Japan increased by nearly 24% to 382,000 last year.
The federal government is currently seeking to almost double the value of this market by the year 2020.
However, the Japanese are known to be quite fickle-minded. And, with an aim t consolidate this growth trend, Steve Ciobo, the Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister is present in Tokyo this week for interacting with airlines and tourism operators.
The strong growth has continued through 2017 with the arrivals that are up by 19% this year to February, ahead of the peak travel period in the month of May.
The recent surge in tourist arrivals has made Japan, along with South Korea, the fastest growing segment of Australia that is much ahead of China that had witnessed a 17% growth to 1.2 million last year. Such a strong growth in the number of Japanese tourists has actually contributed to a 20% rise in inbound airline seating during 2016.
The 382,000 Japanese tourists who had come to Australia last year had ended up spending over $1.7 billion.
And, the government is making efforts to increase this figure to $3 billion by the year 2020. However, the Japanese market has been very tricky for the tourism industry as more than 814,000 tourists had visited Australia in the year 1997.
After declining for the five years through 2009, the Japanese visitor arrivals increased by 11% in the year 2010, and declined by 17% the next year.
The market however, returned to marginal growth in 2014 and 2015, prior to the big rise last year.
Australia is the only major agricultural exporter to enjoy a free-trade agreement with Japan.