Japan’s Visitor Figures Plummet in March


The coronavirus outbreak has dealt a devastating blow to Japan’s booming tourism industry.

The Japan National Tourism Organization reported that overseas visitors to Japan in March 2020 fell by 93.0% from the previous year to 193,700. Amid the continued spread of the coronavirus, many countries have restricted travel abroad and issued stay-at-home orders, while Japan has also restricted entry through measures including making quarantine more stringent and invalidating visas. This has devastated the tourism market.

Visitors from China fell by a record 98.5% compared to the same period in 2019, to 10,400. The Chinese government banned group tours along with sales of hotel and flight ticket packages from January 27 to prevent the virus spreading overseas, leading to widespread cancellations of trips to Japan. A sharp decrease was seen with visitors from across East Asia, including a 98.5% drop from South Korea and 98.1% from Taiwan.

In March, the epicenter for the coronavirus shifted from China to Europe and the United States, meaning demand for travel has plummeted globally. Huge drops in the number of visitors from the West could also be seen, as visitors from Italy fell by 90.0%, from the United States by 87.0%, and from Britain by 82.4%.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner Photo: Planes grounded at Haneda Airport due to canceled flights. © Jiji.)

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