Japan Set to Break Tourism Records, Welcoming Over 3 Million Visitors for Second Consecutive Month

Japan Continues to Welcome Millions of Tourists in April

For the second consecutive month in April, Japan greeted over 3 million visitors, hinting at the likelihood of a record year for tourism, according to official data released on Wednesday by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

Last month, the number of foreign visitors for business and leisure reached 3.04 million, which was slightly less than March’s monthly record of 3.08 million. However, April’s arrivals were still 56% higher than the preceding year and 4% above the levels recorded in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic shut borders.

April recorded a surge in visitors from France, Italy, and the Middle East to record levels in any single month. The yen’s plunge to a 34-year low has made Japan a budget-friendly destination for tourist, with arrivals projected to surpass the record of 31.9 million that was seen in 2019.

But while the influx of tourists is good for Japan’s economy, it has caused disputes with locals. Illegal parking and littering complaints compelled local authorities to erect a barrier this month to prevent visitors from taking pictures of Japan’s famous Mount Fuji at a popular spot.

Due to an increase in pollution and accidents during last year’s hiking season, trail constraints and a new 2,000 yen charge will be enforced for Mt. Fuji climbers this summer.

In April, visitors from the Mainland China, Japan’s largest tourist market before the pandemic, exceeded 500,000 for the first time since January 2020 but remained 27% below 2019 levels.

The emergence of COVID-19 and travel restrictions has dramatically impacted Japan’s tourism industry, with a staggering decline in bookings and overseas visitors in 2020. With vaccination in progress, Japan’s economy hopes to bounce back with an increase in travel across the country.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism recently announced a significant investment of 100 billion yen ($913 million) in the tourism revival of Japan, with funding aimed at increasing the sustainability and attractiveness of tourist destinations all over the country.

In addition, the ministry extended its domestic travel promotion campaign “Go To Travel” until the end of July, incentivizing travelers living in Japan to visit destinations across the nation, including the popular tourist destinations.

With Japan’s reputation of offering a unique blend of culture, history, technology, hospitality, and food, tourism has played a significant role in the country’s economy growth in recent years. The current developments indicate that the country is on the road to recovery, promising good prospects for the future of its tourism industry


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