Japan records surge in tourist arrivals

Japan has never seen so many tourists flood into the country so quickly. The yen’s historic collapse, meaning a cheaper traveling experience for those with tourist dollars to spend, coupled with the post-pandemic surge in global tourism, has sparked interest in the nation like never before. 

More than 14.5 million people arrived in the country in the first five months of this year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization’s latest figures. That’s 70% up on the same period last year, and on track to beat 2019’s record 31 million visitors.

The island nation — famed for its dining, cleanliness and mix of futuristic and traditional experiences — currently feels more like a low-cost travel haven than one of the world’s most advanced economies, thanks to extraordinary currency exchange rates. The yen has been stuck at a three-decade low in recent months, making everything from an omakase sushi lunch to premium A5 wagyu steak much more affordable.

Japan welcomed more than 3 million visitors for a third straight month in May, with the majority coming from South Korea, China and Taiwan. More than a million Americans made the long-haul trip from the US in the first five months of the year — a 50% jump on the same period in 2019. Tourist numbers from 19 markets — including all Group of Seven nations — this year broke their records for May. Chinese tourists have lagged their global counterparts since the beginning of the year, although the gap is closing. Japan has proved to be the top pick for Chinese tourists this summer, reported Hindustan Times.

Based on a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis, Japan is set to receive a record 34 million visitors this year, beating by a year a government target for exceeding 2019 visitor numbers. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stuck by a longer-term goal of 60 million inbound visitors a year by 2030. In contrast, a lack of overseas purchasing power has discouraged Japanese travelers, and the number heading abroad has still only reached about 60% of its pre-Covid peak.

Hotel prices in Japan are rising, but they’re still cheaper than their global peers. The weak yen and the hugely popular cherry blossom season lifted national hotel prices to a near-three decade high in March. The average daily room rate was about ¥20,986 ($136), the highest level since 1997, according to CoStar Group.

Japan records surge in tourist arrivals

You Might Also Like...

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments