Tuesday, 26th February 2013
In Japan Travel News,
Aussie skiers flock to Japanese resorts
Japan is proving a popular ski destination for Australian sports fans as an increasing number are choosing the country's slopes over the competition.
Tourists and Japanese residents are spoilt for choice as there are some 600 resorts across the country.
So, apart from the number of places to ski, what is bringing people to Japan?
According to general manager of SkiJapan.com, Marcus Williams, there are a number of reasons, not least the improving exchange rate, which makes holidays cheaper.
Mr Williams said: "We haven't seen the Aussie dollar as strong against the Yen in years plus we've got free night offers and free lift passes and rentals for kids – available in Niseko."
Add to this some decent snow, and you've got arguably a pretty persuasive argument for taking a ski holiday in Japan.
"The powder snow is always consistent and reliable, plus the early bird discounts and ongoing specials have encouraged people to return to Japan or choose [it] over other international resorts," Mr Williams said.
He explained that the 2010/2011 season was the company's "busiest ever" and he expects the business to do ten per cent better in the 2012-13 period.
The ski season in Japan begins in November and the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) reports that some resorts have as much as six or seven metres of snow during the peak months.
While snowfall is normally expected to end by mid-March, there are regions which experience drifts until the beginning of May.
According to the JNTO, the number of people visiting Japan in 2012 was close to those levels reached before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Overall, the country welcomed some 8.3 million visitors to its shores in 2012. This represented an increase of close to 35 per cent compared to 2011. The figure is also close to the all-time high of visitors to the country which was recorded in 2010 when 8.6 million tourists visited Japan.
Written by Graham McPherson