Number of visitors to Japan

In January 2017 Japan received a total of 2.30 million foreign visitors, up 24% year on year and a moderate acceleration from 15.7% in December 2016.

Published monthly by the Japan National Tourism Organization(JNTO). Updated till the month of January 2017 (published on February 15th, 2017).

Recent data trend

Arrival of foreign tourists in Japan grew by 24% year on year (YoY) in January 2017 to reach 2.30 million. The number of foreign visitors in January, 2.30 million, is virtually a record high on par with 2.30 million achieved in July 2016. 

Number of visitors arriving from China was highest by country at 0.63 million, an increase of 32.7% YoY while the second highest number of tourists arrived from South Korea, 0.62 million, up by 21.5% YoY. These two countries together accounted for almost 55% of total foreign visitors to Japan. Visitors from other Asian countries like Taiwan, Hong-Kong and Thailand were 0.35 million, 0.18 million and 0.06 million respectively.

The YoY growth in the number of foreign visitors have been consistently decelerating after the peak of 63.8% YoY in August 2015, down to the low of 12.8% YoY in August 2016. The deceleration in 2016 was partly due to the strengthening of yen we saw in the first half. The re-acceleration in the growth in January could also be explained as a function of yen, as yen turned to depreciate toward the end of 2016. 

The Japanese government has a target for overseas tourists to grow to 40 million by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games. It requires an average growth of 19% per year for the next 4 years. While the growth rate of 24% year on year in January 2017 does clear the bar, we will see if the inbound tourism in Japan could maintain the growth at such a high level for a prolong period.  

Brief Overview

“Number of visitors to Japan” is published by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).This number includes all foreign visitors to Japan except foreign residents in Japan and crew members.

Tourism from abroad is one of the few promising businesses in Japan. Foreign visitors to Japan doubled in last decade and reached 10 million people for the first time in 2013, led by increase of Asian visitors. In 2008, the Japanese government has set up Japan Tourism Agency and set the initial goal to increase foreign visitors to 20 million in 2020. In 2016, having met the 20 million target, the government has revised up its target to 40 million by 2020 and to 60 million by 2030.

For more information, visit the official government page (Japanese only)

Foreign Visitors-Quarterly and Inbound Tourism Spending-Quarterly are published by Japan Tourism Agency as part of their Consumption Trend Survey for Foreigners visiting Japan. The main aim of the survey is to determine the actual consumption status of Inbound travelers from various countries. The methodology involves interviews by researchers at major Air and Sea ports.

For more information, visit the official government page

Next Release Date: March 15th, 2017

Foreign Visitors-Quarterly

Inbound Tourism Spending-Quarterly

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