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Tourist Spending in Japan Hits Record High
On January 18, the Mainichi Shimbun reported that the number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2015 reached 19.74 million and these travelers spent an estimated 3.48 trillion yen ($29.6 billion). Both figures hit new record highs.
The number of visitors, increasing partly due to a weaker yen which encourages tourists to visit and spend when in the country, comes close to the Japanese government’s target of 20 million visitors from overseas by 2020 when the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held.
Data from the Japan Tourism Agency showed that the number of visitors and their spending topped the previous annual record in 2014 of 13.41 million and 2.03 trillion yen, respectively.The agency also attributed the rise in the number of foreign travelers and their spending to relaxed visa requirements for tourists from other Asian countries and the expansion of types of items available to be bought via duty-free.
Chinese travelers more than doubled to 5 million from 2.41 million in 2014, with those from South Korea growing 20.3 percent to 4 million and Taiwanese tourists up 18.6 percent at 3.68 million, the agency said.
Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii, speaking at a press conference, expressed his hope that the number of visitors from overseas to Japan will top 20 million this year while expressing a cautious view about the Chinese economy.
The government will draw up new numerical targets and map out measures to accommodate the growing number of tourists by the end of March.
Chinese travelers spent an estimated 1.42 trillion yen, constituting 40.8 percent of the total, followed by travelers from Taiwan at 520.7 billion yen and those from South Korea at 300.8 billion yen, the agency said.
Average spending per visitor rose 16.5 percent from a year earlier to 176,168 yen.
Source: ‘Foreign Visitors to Japan, tourists’ spending in 2015 hits new records’
Mainichi Japan, January 19, 2016
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