Tourist spend up in Japan, forecast to hit $45b in 2020

Tourist spend up in Japan, forecast to hit $45b in 2020

TOKYO - Japan's inbound tourism trade is expected to surge to about 4 trillion yen (S$45 billion) per year in 2020 thanks to the Tokyo Olympics and other events.

Spending by international visitors increased in 2014, with the latest Japan Tourism Agency survey showing tourists spent 2.03 trillion yen, 43 per cent higher on the year.

Spend per traveler also grew by 11 per cent on the year to about 150,000 yen, equivalent to one eighth the annual consumption of a local resident - about 1.2 million yen.

According to the statistics, Vietnamese travelers were the biggest spenders, dropping 237,814 yen per traveler, although the visitor numbers were not very high. A tourism agency official said most of the visitors from the Southeast Asian country were probably wealthy or business travelers who tended to stay longer in Japan.

Australians, many of whom visit Japan for skiing, were the biggest spenders in 2012 and 2013, but have since fallen to third. Chinese travelers spent the second highest amount, shelling out 231,753 yen per traveler in 2014. Yayoi Sakanaka, an economist at Mizuho Research Institute, said total trip expenditure per person is likely to rise to a little over 170,000 yen, as tourists visit more sites around Japan.

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