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Japan tops world tourism ranking despite COVID restrictions

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We are the best, but kinda living in the past. Well last year to be fair…

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Prior to the pandemic, Japan had been keen to boost tourism as a key pillar for economic growth and set a goal to attract 40 million foreign visitors in 2020 when it was originally scheduled to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which were postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

Cui bono? Who benefits from this tourism as a pillar of a country's economic prosperity ?

The hotel,inn and restaurant owners who were subsidized during the pandemic?

Or the staff who were suddenly laid off with no support and had to make the trek to Hello Work, hustle, retrain for different industries?

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Perhaps one of the criteria to win was a lack of overcrowding of foreign tourists.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

They have 7 tourists to prove it.

13 ( +28 / -15 )

Top tourist destination but no tourist can go there although this is changing to allow supervised controlled groups . What world do the people who make such findings live in!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Enjoy it while you can! As soon as the taps get turned back on you'll be deluged with disorientated mobs

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

You covet what you can't get

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why? Because people want to go where they are not allowed to go?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

> Japan came out ranking highest on a list of destinations, despite the country being closed to foreign tourists due to restrictions against the coronavirus.

Then what’s the point?

That would be like making a list of best meats for a group of vegetarians.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Something is fishy about this article. I would rather go to Waikiki or Bali.

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

All are welcome! Time to get the Japanese tourism economy up and running again. Japan needs dollars!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The world is full of violence, murder, hatred and filth. It is human nature to want to travel to a safe and clean country.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I don't know, it sounds like propaganda, especially since it has been written by KYODO.

I didn't see any tourists or a few since the beginning of the virus situation, and Japan tops ?

Spain is in the EU so we don't know how many people came to visit, the borders are open.

Anyway, good luck with organized tour busses, Kyodo, Japan Inc. will need all help they can get.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Not one single tourist was allowed into Japan in 2021. Irony not lost?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Some clarifications about who's input it is and what it is meant to say.

https://www.weforum.org/reports/travel-and-tourism-development-index-2021/in-full/about-the-travel-tourism-development-index

Ultimately, it seems to boil down to:

The TTDI framework has been created with input from T&T stakeholders, including an advisory group that includes representatives from: Bloom Consulting, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the University of Surrey, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). In addition, the index relies on close collaboration with the following data partners: AirDNA, Bloom Consulting, Euromonitor International, GlobalPetrolPrices.com, IATA, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), STR, Tripadvisor, the UNWTO and the WTTC.

At the look of it, I believe only Tripadvisor has traveller feedback(?), the others seem to be professional organizations, which would make sense as Japan remains pretty inaccessible these days...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan loves foreigners.

Its a highly evolved international community in Japan .

Everyone is welcome in Japan and equal rights for all.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

The infrastructure that Japan has to support tourism do not suddenly disappears just because the country is closed, so if that is part of the evaluated parameters it is understandable that it is still in high rankings.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Nobody speaks English, earthquakes daily, radioactive food, complicated transport system, 50% squat toilets with no soap, sleeping on the floor in tourist hotels.

24hr cheap alcohol, friendly shy people, no “no go zones”, amazing architecture, interesting history, wonderful food, clean public transport, hardly any graffiti, no guns.

japan should be in the top 20. Not top.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

Japan loves foreigners.

Its a highly evolved international community in Japan .

Everyone is welcome in Japan and equal rights for all.

I will testify to that.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Everyone is welcome in Japan and equal rights for all.

I will testify to that."

Lol. OK.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Japan tops world tourism ranking despite COVID restrictions

Is this a joke?

Everyone is welcome in Japan and equal rights for all.

I will testify to that."

Lol. OK.

gintonic

I'll second that.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Japan tops world tourism ranking despite COVID restrictions

Surely someone got their wires crossed. Ranked the top? A joke surely. Japan has taken advantage of the pandemic to go back to its Sakoku days and are currently parading around farces like "controlled tour groups", which from the picture on the article on this site, looks like Japanese actors playing "foreign" tourists, in order to look like they're playing ball with their international peers. Someone needs to recheck this rankings list.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Japan scored high in the following divisions:

Safety and Security 6.1

Health and Hygiene 6.1

Ground and Port infrastructure 6.3

Cultural Resources 6.4

Non-Leisure Resources 6.3

https://www.weforum.org/reports/travel-and-tourism-development-index-2021/explore-the-data

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan's aging population, combined with its pension system, requires some sort of influx of tax revenues for the government to sustain its pension system. Those tourism dollars and associated sales taxes and hotel taxes were probably doing a solid job of ensuring the pension system doesn't go totally bankrupt.

If you're Western tourist who wants a bit of culture shock, but not worry about someone stealing your wallet or getting some sort of gastrointestinal issue, then Japan's a solid place to go.

It's safe, clean, trains are incredible. The issue is overcrowding and lack of English.

I went to Japan the first time in 1997. The lack of credit card acceptance and poor ATMs was demoralizing. Japan made a lot of necessary progress from 1997 - 2015 or so.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

What an absurd piece!

A place to

visit for the many but not allowed in?

How comical…

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Kyo wa heiwa dayo neToday  10:20 am JST

Japan loves foreigners.

Its a highly evolved international community in Japan .

Everyone is welcome in Japan and equal rights for all.

I see what you did there.... See my username!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It makes no sense. Top destination site but can’t travel to it? That’s like having a poll where unicorns top the list for animals that people wish they could see at a zoo.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I went to Japan the first time in 1997. The lack of credit card acceptance and poor ATMs was demoralizing.

Not much has changed on this front. Their ATMs are still horrendous with opening and closing hours and ridiculous fees for withdrawing money. Some still don't accept international cards and there are still loads of shops that are cash only.

If Japan wants to be more tourist friendly, they really need to address their "cash is king" mentality. This issue is another reason why the results of this poll is mindboggling - so many countries have gone cashless years ago. It's convenient and safe and you get used to the fast transactions at the checkout counters. Then you come to a place like Japan where you'd back to thumbing through banknotes and fisting handfuls of coins to count out exact change. Talk about a trip back in time.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

That’s like having a poll where unicorns top the list for animals that people wish they could see at a zoo.

Not really =)

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

there are still loads of shops that are cash only

The only place I regularly spend cash these days is the local supermarket. Everywhere else I use my credit card for larger purchases, Apple Pay for everyday stuff. Even my local mobile tofu man accepts payment by Apple watch.

Their ATMs are still horrendous with opening and closing hours and ridiculous fees for withdrawing money

Use the bank's own ATM instead of the one in the conbini, and there are no withdrawal fees.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Not much has changed on this front. Their ATMs are still horrendous with opening and closing hours and ridiculous fees for withdrawing money. Some still don't accept international cards and there are still loads of shops that are cash only.

If Japan wants to be more tourist friendly, they really need to address their "cash is king" mentality. This issue is another reason why the results of this poll is mindboggling - so many countries have gone cashless years ago. It's convenient and safe and you get used to the fast transactions at the checkout counters. Then you come to a place like Japan where you'd back to thumbing through banknotes and fisting handfuls of coins to count out exact change. Talk about a trip back in time.

Excellent Post! agree 100%!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

lol this article.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

They have 7 tourists to prove it

Priceless!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Not hard to look after your tourists when you only have seven of them.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The most ironic news ever!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Many shops in Japan reject foreign credit cards -I am surprised when my cards are accepted, so much so that (just in case) I usually withdraw money from a combini at the beginning of a night out..

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

All this says is that Japan rated top as a destination that people (whoever were asked) "wanted" to go. The fact that there haven't been any tourists to speak of since Covid in clearly 2020 is not relevant. Besides, wanting to gp doesn't really mean anything if they "can't" or "won't" go.

Plastic sheets, masks, and many small business' and employees suffering aside, Japan was "inbound" crazy before 2020. There were so many tourists everywhere that travel within Japan wasn't enjoyable. And shops amd restauraunts became addicted to tourist income.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

> Many shops in Japan reject foreign credit cards -I am surprised when my cards are accepted, so much so that (just in case) I usually withdraw money from a combini at the beginning of a night out..

Have never run into any shop that did not take Visa or Mastercard, whether issued from a Bank in Japan or Overseas. In the cities many also take AMEX, as well as Discover which collaborates with JCB. They may reject foreign bank debit cards unless it is linked to MC or Visa.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I wonder how many of the people so desirous to come here are students promised two years ago they could come (and their money accepted then and there), expats who were not allowed back in for whatever reason yet, and the like.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@OssanAmerica

I tried to pay for my lunch several months ago and the shop’s card reader declined my transaction.

I could have asked them

to phone MasterCard the same way I did several years ago in a yakitori shop for a much bigger bill on a Visa card transaction but in Japan I won’t make a scene about something I can easily remedy; I paid in cash.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Someone was getting kickbacks for their vote.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

People are fascinated by Japan. I was too before visiting and then ultimately moving here.

Japan gov could capitalize on the weak yen and enjoy some cash flow but would rather pander to the ancient voting base just long enough to get re-elected.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great post!

Agreed on everything!

Nail on the head, mate!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@OssanAmerica

Many shops in Japan reject foreign credit cards -I am surprised when my cards are accepted, so much so that (just in case) I usually withdraw money from a combini at the beginning of a night out..*

*Have never run into any shop that did not take Visa or Mastercard, whether issued from a Bank in Japan or Overseas. In the cities many also take AMEX, as well as Discover which collaborates with JCB. They may reject foreign bank debit cards unless it is linked to MC or Visa.*

I can not really say about "shopping", as I am not much of a "shopper" myself (only the usual daily stuff plus clothing) and when I do, it is either one of these malls like Atre, Mona, Aeon where all shops use credit-cards. Smaller shops, I always carry enough cash. BUT...

...In the 18 years I have been in Japan, I do not believe I ever went to a medical facility (whether GP, otolaryngologists, dentist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, physical rehabilitation clinic, pharmacy, etc, etc), whether being a ringy dingy medical outlet ran by an ojiisan past expiring-date, a Star Trek USS Enterprise medical deck-level clinic or even a full-fledged hospital where I could make use of my credit-card. Never. Ever. And I do mean credit cards in general (i.e. none of the facilities has any device to swipe cards!). Each time I ask, each time I'm being told: sorry cash only.

And I have lived in Ibaragi, Saitama, Kanagawa, Tokyo and (now) Chiba (actually Urayasu in Chiba, which being super close to Tokyo Disneyland is a magnet for tourists). And, frankly this has always be a pain, as depending on the treatment you require, a substantial amount of cash may be involved (e.g. yearly Ningen dock)...

Funnily enough though, any veterinary clinic I went to for the cats...did accept cards. But facilities dedicated to human patients. Nope, no such luck...While back in Europe and since the 90s, every medical facility accepted cards.

Unsure what the human medical world's beef with credit card is, but it's really mendokusai.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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