Japan sets new tourism goals, focuses on quality travellers

The Japanese government has approved a 2023-25 plan to become a more tourism-orientated country by focusing on sustainable travel, greater consumption and more travellers visiting its regions.

The Japan Tourism Agency’s “Basic Plan for the Promotion of a Tourism Nation”, updated for the first time in six years, addresses both inbound and domestic tourism as a means to support the country’s national growth strategy, local revitalisation and international exchange.

Japan is aiming for inbound travellers to increase their spending during their stay; Dotonbori in Osaka, pictured

For the overseas market, the focus is on increasing the quality of travellers rather than the number of visitors while dispersing visits to avoid over-tourism and stimulate regional development.

Developing more offerings for high-end travellers, training more tourism professionals, and employing greater use of technology are among the initiatives planned to deliver the targets. Special events and funding for local tourism resources, such as accommodation and facilities, are also in the works to create regions that are “good to live in and good to visit”, according to the report.

The plan over fiscal 2023 to 2025 (April 2023 to March 2026) aims for inbound travellers to spend 200,000 yen (US$1,495) each during their stay in Japan, up from 159,000 yen in 2019. This amounts to five trillion yen in expenditure annually by all overseas visitors, a rise from 2019’s 4.8 trillion yen. In addition, the goal is for overseas visitors to spend two nights in local areas, up from 2019’s 1.4 nights.

The plan will also encourage domestic travellers to spend more and travel widely by promoting longer trips and more off-season travel. The goal is for annual consumption to reach 22 trillion yen, up from 21.9 trillion yen in 2019, and 320 million nights spent in regions, up from 300 million nights in 2019.

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