The number of foreign visitors to Japan has exceeded the number of departures in April 2014, in what is again a record month for tourism in the country. Records show that the 1,231,500 who visited Japan last month is the highest number ever and is up for the 15th straight month.
According to the numbers released by the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of tourists jumped 33.4% compared to the same period last year. It also shows that for the first time in 44 years, there were more people who arrived in Japan than those who went abroad which numbered around 1.1 million. The last time this happened was in September 1970. Meanwhile, despite still ongoing issues with their country, the number of Chinese visitors increased by 90.3% with 190,600 arrivals. Taiwan was still the country with the most number of visitors with 257,900, up 30.3% from April 2013. Not surprisingly, the number of Korean visitors fell 5% to 194,000 after the South Korean ferry disaster that claimed the lives of hundreds of mostly high school students.
The steadily rising number of arrivals has been helped by the weakened yen, which has allowed tourist companies to lower their prices. April is also a special month as most Asian tourists troop to Japan during cherry blossom season. European numbers also increased because of the addition of more international flights at the Haneda Airport. Southeast Asian visitors’ numbers also had a huge boost due to the easing of visa requirements in some countries like Malaysia and Thailand. The government is also looking at doing the same for Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines to bring in even more tourists from the emerging region.
[ via Jiji Press ]