Foreign tourists to Japan buy big in January-March period

Foreign tourists to Japan buy big in January-March period
Foreign visitors are seen shopping at a drug store with large bags in Chuo Ward, Osaka.

Foreign visitors to Japan spent ¥706.6 billion (S$7.81 billion) from January to March, a record high for one quarter and an increase of 64.4 per cent from the same period of the previous year, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

By nationality, Chinese visitors spent ¥277.5 billion, about 2.3 times the amount they spent in January-March last year. Chinese people accounted for about 39 per cent of the overall total spending by foreign tourists.

China was ranked first in terms of per capita consumption for combined spending on shopping and accommodations, at ¥300,434. Of that amount, an average of ¥176,975 was spent on shopping.

The big spending by many Chinese customers through the period is attributed to shopping sprees prompted by the yen's depreciation and improvements to the tax-free system.

Australia was in second place for per capita consumption, at ¥247,643.

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