national

Foreign tourists spend record ¥4.8 tril in Japan in 2019

18 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
Login to comment

Numbers should be amazing this year with the Olympics.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Make sure to thank a visiting Chinese or Korean for coming to Japan. Some Japanese I know have some pretty negative attitudes towards them.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

The Chinese tourist is keeping Japan afloat!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Even with the downturn in South Korean tourists, 5.58 million of them still visited Japan last year. That's not an insignificant number, so good for them.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The Australians will be spending the most due to the high proportion of skiers. One day of skiing is way more expensive than one day of sightseeing.

To avoid overtourism, the focus needs to be on spending and dare I say it profits, not on the simple number of tourists.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Speaking of "overtourism" (as it relates to Japan) I was just reading this article earlier..

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-topics/c07701/kyoto-and-the-peril-of-overtourism-interview-with-mayoral-candidate-murayama-shoei.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

One day of skiing is way more expensive than one day of sightseeing.

That depends very much what kind of sightseeing you do.

Skiers travelling internationally typically buy multi-day passes. Niseko charges 8,000 yen for a one day pass that gives access to lifts and gondolas for the whole mountain (consisting of three resorts), and for multi-day passes, it comes down to around 7000 yen. That's a normal price to ski in Japan.

People who ski and snowboard all day are not spending money on transport, shopping, or entrance fees. Costs during the day are usually just lunch and the occasional coffee or drink break. Food at ski resorts is generally basic and inexpensive.

Obviously it's possible to run up extra costs on equipment rental, lessons, and evening entertainment. Serious skiers/snowboarders (a category I would put most Australians in, from what I've seen) are more likely to have their own equipment and skiwear. What they spend on howling it up in the evenings is open-ended, but that goes for all tourists coming to Japan, skier or not. The same goes for accommodation.

It's actually surprising that you identify Australians as likely to be bigger spenders just based on fact that they come here to ski. When people get into skiing/snowboarding, they often try to hold down the cost because their focus is on spending as much time out on the mountain as possible. They are also often young and don't have limitless funds. The basic cost of a day on the slopes is definitely not "way more" expensive than a day sightseeing. From my experience, if you have your own gear, it can be cheaper.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It would be great if rail passes allowed access to the Nozomi. That would move tourists around more and likely mean the would spend more. Also be a more welcoming sign.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Skiing is expensive. Focusing on the cost of it destroys the stoke, so many people try to deny it, especially ski bum types. I live local, use blagged and second hand gear, and ride on a season pass and it still costs me a fortune when I write it all down. If you enjoy it, there is no need for any other justification. Its your money and you are free to do what you like. Just don't pretend people out there looking at a few temples or wandering around Harajuku are spending the same amount of money as skiers. They are not.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As with everything in life, there are good and bad points to this, and there are good and bad apples when it comes to tourism and tourists themselves. But a lot of Japanese I know who complain about the increase in tourism -- usually singling out Chinese and Koreans -- need to understand how vital all this is to the Economy, and that they really are no different when they themselves travel (loud, clueless, bumping into things, crowding places up, etc.). That people are coming here to spend their time and money and WANT to be in Japan is Something to celebrate, and we should embrace them, despite said few bad apples.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How do they know how much they spend? Stats?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How much is it by Gross Domestic Product

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am surprised that an increase in 2.2 % in tourists transformed into 6.6% more spending while yen currency was higher and VAT went up in October...

Good for Japan but beware of downslide waiting after Olympic games.

Currency is too expensive for Europe at least.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just don't pretend people out there looking at a few temples or wandering around Harajuku are spending the same amount of money as skiers. They are not.

As I said, it depends what those sightseers do. Temples often charge entrance fees - 1000 yen isn't unusual for the famous ones - as do museums, and taking trains and buses also costs money. Urban sightseers are more likely to be passing by souvenir shops, going to shopping areas, or visiting department stores. It adds up.

Skiers are usually in remote areas out of the cities where there is not much (sometimes nothing) in the way of shopping. Certainly very little upscale shopping of the sort popular with some Asian tourists in Japan. Instead, the main cost after accommodation and food is lift passes. Those are a more or less fixed amount per day. While I said 8000, that's actually on the high side, because it's for an all-areas pass including night skiing. 6000 is more realistic at many resorts in Japan, and that's also about the cost of a day ticket at the individual resorts at Niseko. With a little effort it can be done for less, as there are often ways to get discounts on tickets.

Compared to just about any other activity people do over a whole day in Japan, 6000 yen is extremely reasonable. Leaving out accommodation costs, which all tourists have to deal with, a lift pass isn't the whole daily cost for skiers, but it's the main one. It's not much more than it would cost to go to a museum, a temple, and take a couple of buses and trains in a city like Tokyo or Kyoto - a very light sightseeing schedule that can easily run to 3000 yen or more.

Personally I think the average Australian ski/snowboard tourist spends less on the days that they are out on the mountain than a tourist from China or Taiwan spends in Kyoto or Tokyo. They tend to be younger, less willing to fling money around, and not greatly interested in shopping. It's quite easy to hold skiing costs down; it's rather less easy for people whose mission when visiting to Japan is buying up brand-name crap in Shinjuku or Ginza to do it on the cheap.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How much is it by Gross Domestic Product?

less than .01%

0 ( +1 / -1 )

5 million South Koreans visited Japan last year. South Korea has a population of 51 million, which means that 10% of South Koreans (1 in 10 people) visited Japan last year. That is a significant number. How does that total for a 10 or 20 year period?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's a lot of money. Way to go Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is about 1% of Japan's GDP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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