Japan Visited by Record-High +19% Foreign Tourists in September
It looks like this September had a record-high number of foreign tourists visiting Japan - to the tune of nearly 20 million. According to the JNTO (Japan National Tourist Organization), a total of 1,918,000 foreign tourists visited - an increase of 19% over the same month last year.
The data show tourists from East Asia continued to grow in number, thanks perhaps to the increased numbers of holidays in China and South Korea and an increase in the number of flights and cruises.
The aggregate number of foreign tourists over January-September turned out 17,978,000. By country, China topped with 522,300 or up by 6.3% in the month of September. China marked over 5 million ( 5,007,200) from January through September - for the first time ever for a single country to register an increase over 5 million.
South Korea stretched by 42.8% or 430,600 in September, followed by Taiwan up by 14.7% or 347,500.
Meanwhile, according to a foreign tourists consumption survey by the Tourist Agency published on October 19, foreign tourists spent 2.9% less or 97.170 million in July-September than in the previous period - for the first time since October-December, 2011.
By country, China accounted for 45.3% of the total consumption. China, however, spent 5.6% less (439.8 billion yen), Taiwan 7.0% less (129.2 billion yen) and South Korea 12.7% more (90.8 billion yen) than in the previous period last year.
In term of per-head consumption, the total remained 17.1% less or 155,133 yen. The trend was probably due to China's tariff increase rate and a stronger yen. China's per-head consumption dropped by 18.9% or 227,821 yen - as visibly demonstrated in Akihabara where Chinese tourists used to clear the shelves of certain Japanese products e.g. rice-cookers, cosmetics, etc. but not any longer. That's the way the ball bounces. (Nathan Shiga)