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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 12:04 01/29/2008
News Review #430: January 29, 2008

Chinese Flock to Japan in Tourism Boom

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Chinese Flock to Japan in Tourism Boom
Financial Times (1/29/2008)


As is reported in the Financial Times article linked above, more and more Asians are visiting Japan as tourists these days, and in particular, the number of Chinese visitors exceeded the number of Americans for the first time in 2007. The number of mainland Chinese visitors increased 16% to about 943,000, whereas the number of Americans decreased slightly to about 816,000, according to the Japan National Tourist Organization. Overall, the total number of visitors to Japan has been increasing steadily, mostly from the Asian region, and South Koreans are the largest group of visitors to Japan, followed by Taiwanese, and then mainland Chinese last year.

On one hand, this is quite encouraging, as the Japanese government has picked tourism as a strategic industry to revitalize Japan's economy, especially its stagnant local regions. During the winter season, visitors from northern Asia tend to prefer warm weather and such amenities as hot springs in southern Japan, while those who visit Japan from southern Asia wish to go see and touch snow in northern Japan. This way Japan is benefiting a lot from its natural endowment as a long chain of islands stretching from north to south, and more efforts should be made to publicize this natural advantage to the outside world.

On the other hand, Japan should be concerned about the recent decline in the number of visitors from Western countries, especially from the U.S. This may well reflect the lack of efforts in providing helpful information in English and other foreign languages to attract tourists not only from neighboring Asia but also from the rest of the world. That should certainly be part of the strategy the Japanese government had in mind in designating tourism as a strategic industry in the first place.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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