travel

S Korea sees marked decrease in number of Japanese tourists

21 Comments
By Andrew Miller

The beginning of May is host to a long holiday period in Japan known as Golden Week. Originally given the moniker by shopkeepers and business owners on account of the amount of custom they received during the holidays, Golden Week provides many a hard-working Japanese person with the chance to put their feet up and rediscover what it feels like not to have to clock in, don overalls or stare at a computer screen all day, with many instead heading back to their home towns for family reunion or taking trip to tourist attractions.

With China’s May Day holiday also coinciding with Golden Week, the Korean tourist industry usually sees an influx of tourists from both countries eager to relax, see the sights and spend their hard-earned cash. Due to the yen’s sudden drop in value, however, many Japanese tourists are putting their travel plans on hold this year, opting to stay closer to home where their money with stretch further. South Korea, it would seem, has been left looking to Chinese tourists alone to boost its economy this holiday season.

According to member of South Korea’s travel industry, from the period of March 19 to April 15, 2013, South Korea’s top ranking 19 travel agents took bookings from 88,112 Japanese tourists. This figure shows a decline of 33.4% when compared to the previous year. What’s more, the number of Japanese guests who stayed at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel from the period of October 2012 to March 2013 also saw a drop of 30% compared to 2012.

A spokesman for the travel industry said: “It is believed that the sudden decrease in Japanese tourists is related to the effects of the cheap yen and the fear and anxiety surrounding North Korea’s nuclear experiments. Unless these factors are resolved, it is quite foreseeable that Korea will see a further decline in visitors from Japan.”

There was a point in June last year where the yen’s high exchange rate – which meant that yen bought a greater amount of foreign currency – made traveling to Korea a particularly cost-effective vacation for Japanese tourists. However, with the yen’s rapid drop in value in recent months, travel expenses for Japanese tourists have rocketed. For this reason, there is expected to be a 10.9% reduction in the number of Japanese tourists visiting South Korea this Golden Week, with major Korean travel agent Hanatour reporting that reservations from Japanese customers have fallen by half.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for Korea’s tourist industry. Korea’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced that the number of Chinese visitors to the country rose by 38 percent in the period of January to March this year. An estimated 48% more Chinese tourists than normal are also expected to descend on Korea’s Cheju Island, ensuring that Korea’s top tourist season will not be a complete disaster this year.

Source: Chosun Online

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Korea’s Ban on Pachinko Gambling Sees Increase in Gamblers Coming to Japan -- Top Five Worst Places to Visit in Japan -- Spy on North Korea for Only 32 Cents

© RocketNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


21 Comments
Login to comment

Maybe the "We Hate Japanese, you are all child rapists" advertising campaign over the last 18 months has not been a success?

6 ( +15 / -9 )

@Peter Payne Very true.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

That's a new one on me. You just made it up, didn't you? But here are some real slogans heard in the streets of Japan: "Murder all Koreans, good ones or bad"; "Throw stones at Koreans, rape Korean women" ; "Throw the Korean cockroaches out of Japan". Most likely these are having a chilling effect on the Japanese themselves.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Peter Payne, there are no such slogans or such advertisements in South Korea against Japanese tourists. But I understand that's a pretty common belief amongst the Japanese net right wingers who keep spreading that myth around, that Japanese are going to get raped and murdered if they go to Korea. South Korea pretty much welcomes both Japanese and Chinese tourists, if you even bother to look around, all the signs in Japanese, and all the clerks in shops and restaurants who speak Japanese to cater to their foreign customers.

Like slowguy2 says, I have never heard such racist slogans being thrown around in Korean streets against Japanese people in Korea, but I do know that such racist marches against Koreans in Japan are almost a weekly and a daily occurrence on Japanese streets.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

@Peter Payne - would you mind showing proof of that advertising campaign? I thought so. If you bothered to read the article (or if you bothered to think at all), you'd see that the falling value of the Japanese Yen was in large part responsible for the decrease, as well as recent nuclear threats from North Korea, not to mention some of the recent diplomatic standoffs between the two countries.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If you want proof, have a look at this:

http://www.globescan.com/images/images/pressreleases/bbc2012_country_ratings/2012_bbc_country%20rating%20final%20080512.pdf

According to the BBC, Japan's perception of SK is much better than SK's perception of Japan, yet Japan still ranks as the highest perceived country on Earth while SK ranks down with the likes of South Africa and Russia. This is proof that the belligerence in the bilateral relationship of SK and Japan is undoubtedly SK.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

@dcog9065 - How does that BBC survey serve as proof of Peter Payne's initial claim? I don't think SK are doing too badly overall. From your link - "Of the 22 countries surveyed in 2012, 15 countries hold positive views, four hold negative views, and three are divided". But why does this matter to you anyway?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It doesn't matter to me at all? Does it matter to you?

I gave an example that seems to be fairly accurate of the general attitude towards Japan in SK (mostly negative), which might explain a part of why tourism to a country that is mostly negative towards your own country might have an effect on the overall level of tourism..

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"Daniel," I think the point dcog wants to make is that the people in Japan who have positive views of SK is more than double the number who have negative views. The same cannot be said of SK. Recently, more and more Japanese are hearing about this via the Internet / various media. I would not blame Japanese if they do not want to go to a country where they are not liked.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Well the report you linked says that in the previous year (2011), Korean attitude towards Japan was predominantly positive (68% positive vs 20% negative). This article is about decreasing Japanese tourism to Korea in recent months. Am I being irrational by suggesting that the 30% devaluation of the Japanese currency vs Korean currency, on top of the recent threats of nuclear strike by NK is responsible for this? Or is it because Korean attitude towards Japan?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Daniel Moore: No, that definitely wouldn't be irrational to think that as less tourism would be a logical outcome of falling currency strength and increasing personal risk, however it is interesting to also note that the report (however accurate) also shows an increased negativity towards Japan from SK at the same time that tourism to SK from Japan has declined in the same time period.

My original point was more of a counter-balance to preceding comments implying that Japanese sentiment towards SK was openly negative and magnitudes more pervasive than in SK, which I don't agree with as I've never met any Japanese person who despises Koreans and I've always been under the impression that it was the opposite (although I could be wrong)..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It is believed that the sudden decrease in Japanese tourists is related to the effects of the cheap yen and the fear and anxiety surrounding North Korea's nuclear experiments.

Okay, now I've heard it all!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If this site actually did some research to add "reports/articles" like these, people would be able to get a greater understanding of issues.

and @chuky3176

I would call the possibility of being raped in South korea a "myth". Considering koreans have the 3rd highest sexual assualt rate in the world. And the highest rape rate in Asia among OECD nations.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

an increasing number of foreigners are being sexually assualted in korea. and the statue of limitation is only 6months for Rape. FACT.

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130423001036

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Like slowguy2 says, I have never heard such racist slogans being thrown around in Korean streets against Japanese people in Korea, but I do know that such racist marches against Koreans in Japan are almost a weekly and a daily occurrence on Japanese streets.

That's probably why Koreans want to expreience that and the number of them coming to Japan increased?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Am I being irrational by suggesting that the 30% devaluation of the Japanese currency vs Korean currency, on top of the recent threats of nuclear strike by NK is responsible for this? Or is it because Korean attitude towards Japan?

Considering the JTB has estimated that during this GW, the overseas travellers will decrease 5% from last year so if the numbers for Korea's decrease is more than double that, it's safe to assume that their are other factors as well. Also note that Chinese tourists visits to Korea are increasing so a possible strike by NK is really not a factor.

You simply can't deny that Japan's population towards Korea has shifted towards the negative with 2MB's landing on Takeshima, his apology demand to the current Emperor, building a comfort woman statute right in front of the Japanese Embassy, the newly elected president's inauguaral speech indicating that her nation will always be victims for 1000 years, and their lawmakers and FM irrational whining towards Yasukuni.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Some say "this slogan in Korea!" and others say "no! but this slogan in Japan!"

classic. Truth is there is no such slogan on the streets in neither country. There could be some demonstrations and people shouting those things, and there are people like that on the Internet, from both countries. But generally you won't find these slogans on the street.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

goes both ways

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Can't the Pro Korean posters accept the simple fact that the Korean tourism boom had worn off here in Japan?

There is no major attraction like Disney resort and Seoul is not a major fashion center either. No big ski resort or sea resort. Not really worth to visit multiple times.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think the yen weakening is the biggest factor. I wonder if Korean visitors to Japan have increased greatly? Does anyone know?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well sure, who wants to go where most of the people bad-mouth your fellow citizens?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites