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Tuesday, 10th June 2014
In General Japan News,

Japan witnesses tourism boost

Japan is currently experiencing its strongest tourism figures since the 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami decimated arrival numbers to the country.

This is according to the Japan Tourism Report released last week, which indicated that the inbound tourist market has picked up over the first half of 2014, and will continue to do so as the year progresses.

Arrival numbers reached 9.5 million by the end of 2013, and are expected to increase by a further 7.6 per cent by December 2014 to hit 10.2 million.

The Asia Pacific region continues to dominate the inbound tourist market, with Chinese and South Koreans among those nationalities that are particularly keen to experience the nation's spectacular temples and wonderful cities.

However, the report also stated that arrivals from North America and Europe will likely increase through the forecast period as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaches, with annual growth in arrivals expected to average around six per cent up until 2018.

The Financial Times pointed out that Asia remains by far the largest market, though, with the tourism authority recently relaxing a number of restrictions for short-term visitors originating from several Asian countries.

According to the publication, visits from China have picked up again in spite of recent anger at Japan following its highly controversial purchase of a number of islands located close to its neighbour's shores.

High tourist numbers are good news for the Japanese government, which views tourism as an essential industry when it comes to economic growth. Prime minister Shinzo Abe has gone as far as to double the target number of inbound tourists over the next decade, from ten million to 20 million.

A cheap yen, unique culture, fascinating history and altogether different atmosphere to anywhere else in Asia have helped Japan to attract tourists over the years, with its temples, cities and gastronomic delights proving particularly popular.

Written by Susan Ballion