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Japan welcomes record number of tourists

Japan welcomed a record number of tourists in 2018.

It has been revealed that the East Asian country saw 31 million foreign visitors pass into the country in the last 12 months, beating last year's figure by over 7 per cent.

Naohito Ise, Executive Director of the Japan National Tourism Organisation in New York, said: "Tourism to Japan from the United States - about 5 per cent of the total - soared 11 per cent with more and more Americans seeking beyond the classic tourism destinations of Tokyo and Kyoto to discover lesser-known parts of the country.

"American tourism to Japan is expected to continue to rise in 2019 as the country builds up to host major international sporting events with a host of prestigious American media including Japan in their much-valued annual lists of the most recommended places to visit in the coming year."

Takayuki Miyajima, a senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute, added: "It is clear that the spending per person [in Japan] is decelerating after the explosive shopping spree by Chinese tourists. But as the number of visitors is now over 30 million, the focus of Japan's tourism policy should be on expanding tourist spending by prompting them to visit multiple cities and extend their stays."

It comes after a study named Japan as the most popular destination to visit, overtaking the United States.

Residents from the Asia Pacific region rate Japan highly whilst Americans prefer continental Europe but Mexico, Canada and Japan also rank towards the top too.

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