Japan sees record-breaking surge in foreign visitors

Japan sees record-breaking surge in foreign visitorsJapan sees record-breaking surge in foreign visitors
via Timo Volz on Unsplash
Japan welcomed a record-breaking surge in foreign visitors in March, marking the first time foreigners surpassed the 3-million mark in a single month.
Key points:
  • The number of tourists increased by 69.5% from 2023 to over 3.08 million foreign visitors in March, according to government data. 
  • This spike was attributed to tourists attracted by the cherry blossom season, Easter holiday and the yen’s decline.
The details:
  • This increase also marked an 11.6% rise from pre-pandemic levels in March 2019. 
  • The amount spent by overseas travelers also reached a record high of 1.75 trillion yen ($11.3 billion) for the January to March quarter, driven by the weakened yen.
  • South Korea and Taiwan were among the top countries sending visitors to Japan. The nation also saw significant increases in travelers from the U.S. and the Philippines.
  • “We can expect record highs for both arrivals and spending in 2024 if the current pace continues,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at a ministerial council meeting aimed at promoting Japan as a tourism-oriented country.
  • Additionally, the number of Japanese traveling overseas increased significantly compared to the previous year, but it remained lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Negative effects of tourism: 
  • Due to the tourism boom, Japan faces challenges such as overtourism, littering and traffic congestion.
  • The government is enhancing measures to tackle these issues, including diverting tourists to the country’s rural areas or implementing tourist fees in Osaka and for Mount Fuji climbers.
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