Visitors to Japan Fall 1.1 Pct in Jan.

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)--The number of foreign visitors to Japan in January dropped 1.1 pct from a year before to 2,661,000, weighed down by fewer South Korean visitors, estimates by the Japan National Tourism Organization showed Wednesday.

January marked the fourth straight month of year-on-year decrease. The number of visitors to Japan could fall further as the novel coronavirus outbreak is seen chilling travel demand worldwide, industry sources said. The Japanese government now faces greater difficulties achieving its target of attracting 40 million visitors to the country this year, the sources said.

The number of South Korean visitors fell 59.4 pct to 316,800 reflecting strained relations between Tokyo and Seoul.

Visitors from mainland China grew 22.6 pct to 924,800 as this year's Lunar New Year holiday period started in late January, earlier than in 2019.

Still, the impact of the viral outbreak is expected to become evident from this month. In the holiday period alone, the number of Chinese visitors to Japan decreased by around 20 pct year on year. On Jan. 27, during the holiday period, the Chinese government introduced a ban on group tours to foreign destinations.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press