Per-Visitor Spending Drop Highlights Challenges on Japan Tourism Promotion (News)


Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)—A drop in per-person spending by foreign tourists in 2016 has highlighted challenges Japan needs to overcome to meet its goal of achieving 8-trillion-yen spending by them, pundits pointed out Tuesday.

The 2016 total spending by visitors to Japan, including that on shopping and eating out, rose 7.8% from a year before to ¥3,747.6 billion, marking the highest ever level due to the increasing number of foreign visitors to Japan.

But per-head spending decreased 11.5% to ¥155,896, due chiefly to dissipating bakugai explosive buying, mainly by Chinese tourists.

If spending by foreign visitors per person fails to grow further, it may be difficult for the Japanese government to meet the 8-trillon-yen target by 2020, thereby failing to buoy the economy as projected.

To offset the Chinese bakugai setback, Japan needs to attract wealthy European, Oceanian and US tourists who tend to stay long term, analysts suggested.

Visitors to Japan Hit Record 24.03 Million in 2016

Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)—The estimated number of visitors to Japan in 2016 increased 21.8% from the previous year to 24,039,000, marking the highest level for the fourth consecutive year, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Tuesday.

The increase reflected the expanding demand for trips to the country mainly in other parts of Asia thanks to the relaxation of visa requirements for foreign visitors and low-cost carriers' expansion of flights to Japan.

Meanwhile, the pace of the rise slowed from 47.1% in 2015 due to the yen's appreciation, the government-affiliated tourism promotion body also said.

Given the growth slowdown, Japan Tourism Agency head Tamura Akihiko
said at a press conference that 2017 is a crucial year for Japan to achieve a government-set goal of increasing the number of foreign visitors to Japan to 40 million by 2020.

By country or region, the number of visitors from mainland China was the largest, at 6,373,000, up 27.6%, topping 6 million for the first time for a single state or region.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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