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Japan set to beat 2020 visitor target

  • Author:naky
  • Source:www.diecastingpartsupplier.com
  • Release on:2015-12-02
Japan is poised to hit its tourism target of 20m inbound visitors five years ahead of schedule, according to a leading industry figure, thanks mainly to the weakness of the yen, a boom in Asian cruises and a surge in Chinese shoppers.
Hideo Sawada, chief executive of HIS, Japan’s largest low-cost package tour company, said Chinese travellers appeared to have shrugged off the effects of a domestic slowdown and would continue arriving in robust numbers, unless China’s economy suffered a more dramatic crash.

Inbound visitor numbers have been rising rapidly, from 8.4m in 2012 to more than 13.4m in 2014 — and by September this year the total had exceeded 14.4m.
This inbound tourism boom has already clogged the centres of major Japanese cities with tour buses and prompted hundreds of retailers to employ Chinese-speaking staff.

Mr Sawada,suggested cheaper travel had made Japan an attractive destination.
However, while waves of foreign visitors are discovering the delights of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Japan’s once formidable globetrotters are reining in their ambitions as a weaker yen, ageing demographics and “destination anxiety” about the safety of other cities take their toll. In a historic turning point, 2015 is likely to be the first year since 1971 that Japanese outbound journeys are outnumbered by foreign arrivals.

This trend is unlikely to be reversed. Under the “Abenomics” economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the government relaxed its visitor visa rules to help reach a target of 20m annual visitors by 2020 — the year Tokyo is due to host the Olympic Games.
Although Mr Sawada is confident that HIS will continue to benefit from the inbound boom, he identified an urgent need for innovation as Japanese travelling tastes change. He has predicted that mundane hotel functions will be increasingly performed by robots, as at his hotel, and is considering a move into the cruise industry.