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Thursday, 7th May 2015
In Japan Travel News,

Japan named world's ninth most tourist friendly country

Japan ranked ninth on the World Economic Forum’s list of most tourist friendly countries this year. The country rose five spots from a 14th place in the previous compilation of the ranking which took place in 2013. 

Japan was only topped by Australia in the Pacific Asia region, according to the WEF study, which is officially named the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. Australia scored a seventh place. 

“Japan’s human resources are highly qualified and excel in terms of treatment of customers, where Japan is ranked first globally,” the WEF said.

Commenting on the ranking, the Tokyo Times reports this underscores the appreciation for the so-called omotenashi tradition of hospitality in Japan. WEF assigned the country a second place for staff training and noted its rich cultural resources with unique cultural heritage and efficient ground and air transport infrastructure also contributed to the rise in Japan’s overall score in the bi-annual ranking. Japan scored a fourth spot in the number of large sports stadiums.

All these impressive rankings however come with a price tag, which is something the international organisation appears to have stumbled over. The WEF pointed out that in terms of what tourists pay for goods and services, other countries are far more attractive. “On a less positive note, Japan is not a price-competitive destination,” it said, assigning Japan an 82nd spot in the category ticket taxes and airport charges. For fuel price levels, Japan sank to a 126th place in the ranking.  

Offsetting that however were the country’s “impressive” information communication technology readiness. Launching a paid wireless internet service with access points across the country, is what visitors appreciate and it also supports the business operations of firms, according to the WEF. 

Worldwide, Spain came out on top in the overall rankings, followed by France and with Germany scoring a third place. Most of the top ten countries on the list were in Europe, with only four nations from outside the EU making the top ten.