Foreign visitor stays surged to 66.37 million in 2015

posted on March 3, 2016

Hotel stays by foreign visitors to Japan rose 48.1 percent in 2015 to a record 66.37 million, government has shown, in the wake of a weak yen and measures such as tax-free shopping and the easing of visa rules.

Visitor stays are estimated by multiplying the number of visitors by days stayed.

By nationality, Chinese led the surge, with their stays more than doubling from the previous year, giving a significant boost to department store and other retail sales in Japan, where private spending has been stagnant since a consumption tax hike in 2014.

While accommodations in Tokyo and Osaka continued to attract many foreign visitors, some smaller prefectures have also seen steady increases, the Japan Tourism Agency said in a preliminary report Monday.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been stepping up efforts to increase the number of foreign tourists to 20 million annually by 2020, focusing on attracting more visitors not only to large cities but rural areas in an attempt to revitalize regional economies.

source by japantimes
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