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Japan records highest-ever monthly visitor numbers in March

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Does Japan have space for all those foreign visitors?

The country’s goal of attracting 60 million annual foreign visitors by 2030 would be nearly double the annual record of 31.88 million arrivals recorded in 2019.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Travel-Leisure/Japan-targets-1-500-for-spending-by-foreign-visitors

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Japan records best-ever monthly visitor numbers in March

To say "best" depends on who you ask.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

Really good news for the massive tourist industry. There is no doubt that Japan is THE place to be in 2024. Social Media feeds full of tourists trying to get the perfect sakura selfie. And with the yen at $US 1 = ¥155, Japan is a very affordable holiday destination.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

Locals in Kyoto complaining about the tourist numbers which will continue with the current exchange rate.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

It's a disaster for Japan.

-26 ( +9 / -35 )

There is no doubt that Japan is THE place to be in 2024. Social Media feeds full of tourists trying to get the perfect sakura selfie. And with the yen at $US 1 = ¥155, Japan is a very affordable holiday destination.

Sponsored by JTB, the Japan Tourism Agency, and the Japan National Tourism Organization.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

I often look back fondly on the pandemic days when tourist spots were totally devoid of loud crowds of visitors.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

The cheap yen is doing it all, it's working.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If you are planning on visiting Japan try doing it without these tour businesses where you get locked up with a touring agent that dictates every site, move, food, and lodging. Try touring on your own when possible and get out to the country side. Stay away from all the big and famous places where all the Hawks are awaiting you.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I come here every year to visit family and I've never seen so many gaijin schlepping suitcases through Tokyo Station as I did last week (of course I was one of them).

13 ( +18 / -5 )

I see many tourists everyday on my commuting route, otherwise I do not see any foreign tourists on weekends and when traveling around. The advent to have a car and go to remote local spots

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I remembered during the COVID days, going to work, where there were few people on the train, Otemachi station was so bare it was like a ghost town, and it makes me sad that Japan is being overridden with tourists. On the flip side I am happy for all those businesses who struggled during COVID and rely on tourists for their businesses.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Today  07:42 am JST “ I often look back fondly on the pandemic days when tourist spots were totally devoid of loud crowds of visitors. “

Me too, but at the same time I wanna welcome all these people, they have the right to come here. AND it’s good for Japan, even if we don’t want to admit it.

Today  08:14 am JST “ I come here every year to visit family and I've never seen so many gaijin schlepping suitcases through Tokyo Station as I did last week (of course I was one of them). “

I walk around Otemachi and Tokyo Station every day and I see them all the time now; and I’ve been noticing more westerners lately, that’s how you know the numbers are really high.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Great news for Japan..

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

It's a real shame tourist numbers are reported monthly. I would like to know how much the number is going up on a weekly or preferably daily basis.

NHK could install some AI cameras at Haneda and put a live counter on the screen.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

kohakuebisuToday  10:30 am JST

It's a real shame tourist numbers are reported monthly. I would like to know how much the number is going up on a weekly or preferably daily basis.

NHK could install some AI cameras at Haneda and put a live counter on the screen.

Not a good method. How is AI going to identify Asian tourists? Or tourists from Western countries of Asian decent?

An accurate method would be by counting the Visa Waiver and Tourist Visa entries at the airports held by Immigration.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The story is also biased in that while visitor numbers are up 11% compared to 2019, the very same government announcement said that Japanese people leaving the country are down by over a third, from 1.9m to 1.2m.

There are lots of reasons for this, but none of them are good ones or, ones that should be readily excused away so we can go back to cheering on the much small rise in people coming to Japan.

Vietnam, a small country still seen in Japan as a source of cheap labour, now sends more people to study in the US than Japan. This was unthinkable in the 1990s.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I remember in the late 1980s when snap-happy Japanese tourists were flooding into Australia, especially places like the Gold Coast and natural wonders like the Twelve Apostles and the Great Barrier Reef.

I was out looking at the rock formations and the ocean on the Great Ocean Road at the safety railing and several busloads of tourists turned up to run down to view the same. With a dutious flag waver in front urging them the way.

One guy climbed the railing and swung right in front of me to take a selfie with his fujifilm instant camera (used to love those things) while hanging over the edge of the cliff, thsn promptly climbed back over the railing took off with the rest of the group without actually looking at the ocean or the formations themselves.

I thought at the time he was kinda rude. But it was amusing.

How times change but still stay the same.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Asiaman7Today  07:02 am JST

Does Japan have space for all those foreign visitors? 

The country’s goal of attracting 60 million annual foreign visitors by 2030 would be nearly double the annual record of 31.88 million arrivals recorded in 2019.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Travel-Leisure/Japan-targets-1-500-for-spending-by-foreign-visitors

Some countries of a similar size have more than that . For example, France has over 100 million foreign tourists a year with no big issues. But in France tourism is spread all over the country .

In Japan, it is concentrated in a few places, which, as a result, are incredibly packed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good thing is it's forcing Japan to be more international. No other way was it going to happen.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

How is AI going to identify Asian tourists? 

It can do it because the people selling AI say it is intelligent. AI can do everything and is why the stock market is going ballistic (wink wink).

I don't have Bloomberg, but if their terminals have a little ticker saying "number of tourists in the past hour" along with the Nikkei and the Topix, I might get one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some countries of a similar size have more than that. For example, France has over 100 million foreign tourists a year with no big issues. But in France tourism is spread all over the country .

In Japan, it is concentrated in a few places, which, as a result, are incredibly packed.

Most of the French territory (exactly two-thirds) consists of low plains.

Japan, which is about 1.5 times smaller than France, is predominantly mountainous. About three-fourths of the nation’s land is mountains.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Like someone else mentioned, I too yearn for the happy days of the pandemic. My best ever time was then, exploring the country with no annoying tourists getting on my wick.

There are far too many tourists in the big cities now and as Japan is now cheaper to travel there are more less desirable types visiting.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

As a permanent resident, I enjoyed the pandemic days, with no tourists and HUUUUGE discounts and money-back programs for anyone traveling within Japan, but I'm really happy now both for the tourists being able to finally enjoy this country and for the businesses benefiting them.

It's a bit sad that, due to the sakura blooming two-three weeks later than average, many have missed it - it was impossible to change flights and hotels booked months in advance. It's a nice perk everyone living in Japan gets - we get to see it for free every year, regardless of the weather.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Japan is the new Thailand!

Congratulations!

You're officially a third world country tourist destination!

Well done.

-14 ( +9 / -23 )

Good for Japan, but on the flip side, the reliance on tourists who have more money to spend than the citizens of the country they are visiting reveals much more than meets the eye. Time long overdue for some serious systemic change, or you will soon be defined as a ‘cheap destination’ and that is not a good thing long term.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

11.6-percent gain compared to March 2019

But they spend 50% less due to the weak yen. I.e., Japanese tourism industry works harder, but earns less. Not to mention the additional strain on indirect services and infrastructure which operates from taxes paid by locals.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I suspect it is due to Japan's stagnating economy that this subject is highlighted more than it deserves. Let's not be fooled by a good news in the economic sector, which accounts for a small share in the national GDP. Having made a lukewarm remark, I should add that both national and local authorities should come up with viable measures against overtourism, and for securing the necessary human resources.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan records best-ever monthly visitor numbers in March

"best" is rather subjective. "Most visitors ever" would be better.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan records best-ever monthly visitor numbers in March

"best" is rather subjective. "Most visitors ever" would be better. Are there no editors at JT?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The motto "be careful what you wish for" comes to mind. Everything in the proper dose is best.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

But they spend 50% less due to the weak yen

Why would them getting more yen for their own currency cause them to spend less yen?

My customers are loving the weak yen and definitely not spending less. Japan is a bargain.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why would them getting more yen for their own currency cause them to spend less yen?

They spend less in dollar equivalent. Of course you will earn a bit more in yen, but it doesn’t compensate the depreciation of the yen.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Weak-yen policy since Abe Govt only benefit large corporations or handful travel industries, but still brings serious damages or difficulties to Japanese citizen or society than them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Vietnam, a small country....

Last time I checked Vietnam was a similar size to Japan. And the population is over 100,000,000.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

BaradzedToday  03:34 pm JST

11.6-percent gain compared to March 2019

But they spend 50% less due to the weak yen. 

You seem confused. Foreign tourists spend the same in Yen. The savings from the exchange rate benefits only the tourists. It doesn't affect anyone else.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

ProtestantToday  03:11 pm JST

Good for Japan, but on the flip side, the reliance on tourists who have more money to spend than the citizens of the country they are visiting reveals much more than meets the eye. 

Foreign tourists, in any country, spend more per day in their limited visiting time, than the local inhabants. That's part of being a tourist.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan welcomes the Yen but don't want the Yang! Be careful of what you ask for. Its the same when Japanese tourist visit Yosemite or other national parks they too seem to go off script and end up over a cliff. People will be people you can't change bad habits!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"Best-ever" or "worst-ever?"

Japan has declined to the anything-for-a-buck stage.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Time for them to COMPLAIN about it and jack up prices of whatever BECAUSE there’s tourists to rip off now.

Welcome back.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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