Published on : Wednesday, January 17, 2018
The government of Japan has a target of boosting the annual number of visitors to 40 million in 2020. The challenges for boosting the tourism of Japan remains that must be overcome, however, such as a tight supply of accommodations that cater to overseas guests and a heavy concentration of visitors from East Asia.
There are further efforts that should be made to comprehend the full potential of inbound tourism as one of the nation’s key growth industries.
The tourism is indeed a rare sector that has consistently exhibited sharp growth in recent years. The number of inbound tourists, which stood at 8.36 million in 2012, set record highs for the sixth year in a row.
Along with the domestic factors such as the weaker yen that made Japan a less expensive destination and the easing of travel visa requirements on various countries, the international travel boom continues to be aided by an increase in the services of low-cost carriers and the expanding ranks of people in many countries with enough disposable income to afford overseas travel.
The consumption by inbound tourists in 2017 is predictable to have hit yet another record of ¥4.4 trillion, which is a 17 percent increase from the previous year.
The inbound tourism in Japan is now a major factor that shores up land prices in popular tourist destinations.
Japan’s inbound tourism market has the potential to grow into an engine of the economy. It has so much so that efforts should be made to quickly overcome hurdles to its future growth.
According to the Japan Tourism Agency, there are about 75 percent of inbound tourists in the last July-September period.
The room occupancy rates at city and business hotels in Japan are already around 80 percent on national average. But they are fully booked in Tokyo and other major cities such as Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka as well as their environs.
The occupancy rates of Japanese styled inns are still relatively low, which are at up to 50-60 percent — partly because their location and services often don’t meet the needs of foreign visitors.