Japan exceeds tourist spend target

Consumption by international tourists to Japan has exceeded 200,000 yen (US$1,336) per capita, the goal the country aimed to reach by 2025 under its New Tourism Nation Promotion Basic Plan rolled out in April.

According to a study by the Japan Tourism Agency, inbound visitors to Japan between July 1 and September 30 spent a total of 1.39 trillion yen (US$9.24 billion), 17.7 per cent more than the same period in 2019. This equates to 211,000 yen per person, up from 159,000 yen per person in 2019.

The top consumption in Japan was generated by Chinese visitors, followed by Taiwan then South Korea

A total of 33,840 people from around the world were surveyed about their spending habits during their trip at national and regional airports throughout the country, as well as five harbours serving cruise liners.

By country, most consumption was generated by Chinese visitors who spent 2.83 trillion yen (20.3 per cent more than in 2019), despite the market having yet to rebound fully. Visitors from mainland China totalled 364,100 in August, only 36.4 per cent of the 2019 level.

The second-biggest country market was Taiwan at 2.05 trillion yen (14.7 per cent more than in 2019), followed by South Korea, at 1.96 trillion (14.1 per cent more). Rounding out the top five highest spenders were the US at 1.44 trillion yen (an increase of 10.4 per cent) and Hong Kong at 1.34 trillion yen (an increase of 9.7 per cent).

Per capita, though, French visitors spent the most, at 358,000 yen per person, followed by Spain (350,000 yen) and Italy (342,000 yen).

In general, visitors spent more on accommodation (34.2 per cent of total spend) compared to 29.9 per cent in 2019 and entertainment, which rose from 4.1 per cent in 2019 to 5.3 per cent of total spend in 2023. Consumption on shopping, meanwhile, declined from 33.2 per cent of total spend in 2019 to 26.1 per cent of total spend in 2023.

Italians spent the most on accommodation and F&B, while Spaniards splurged most on transport to travel around the country. Entertainment was Australians’ biggest expense, while Chinese visitors consumed the most on shopping.

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