Japan’s Foreign Arrivals Exceed 20 Million in 2023 for January to November, Reaching Highest Level since 2019

In the first 11 months of the year, Japan welcomed a record 22,332,000 foreign visitors, surpassing 20 million for the first time since 2019. This surge in tourism marks a positive indication for the country’s rebound from the impact of the global pandemic.

November alone saw an estimated 2,440,800 foreign visitors, marking the sixth consecutive month that arrivals exceeded 2 million. This increase can be attributed to a rise in travelers from Asia and North America, alongside a weakened yen and the resumption of airline services.

Notably, the number of foreign visitors in November nearly matched the levels seen in the same month in 2019, pre-dating the onset of COVID-19.

Ichiro Takahashi, the Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner, expressed optimism about reaching the target of 5 trillion yen in annual spending by foreign visitors, provided that the current pace continues through December. With the current trajectory, Japan is projected to reach around 25 million foreign visitors by the end of the year, with the government eyeing to surpass the 2019 record of 31.88 million by 2025.

A survey by major Japanese travel agency JTB Corp. has predicted that visitor arrivals in Japan will hit a historic high of 33.1 million in 2024.

In terms of visitor arrivals, South Korea led the way in November with 649,900 arrivals, a notable increase compared to 2019. Taiwan followed with 403,500 arrivals, marking a 2.9 percent increase. Additionally, China recorded 258,300 arrivals, a 65.6 percent decrease, while Hong Kong saw 200,400 arrivals, marking a 0.3 percent increase.

From North America, the United States saw a 24.0 percent increase in arrivals to 184,800, while Mexico experienced a notable 52.4 percent jump with 9,900 arrivals. Visitors from Canada also rose by 17.1 percent to 39,000, according to the data.

On the other hand, the number of Japanese nationals traveling overseas in November stood at 1,027,100, marking a 37.5 percent decline compared to the same month in 2019.

In conclusion, Japan’s tourism sector has shown strong signs of recovery, with foreign visitor arrivals on the rise despite the lingering impact of the pandemic. With a clear roadmap for growth and the prediction of record-high visitor arrivals in the years ahead, Japan’s travel industry is poised for a promising future.



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