Japan is seeing an increase in foreign tourist spending, a sign of recovery in consumption


Thanks to the falling value of the yen, foreign tourists visiting Japan are seeing significant spending increases. According to estimates by the tourism agency, the estimated expenditure in the first quarter of the year (initial value) has registered a 1.5-fold increase compared to the pre-Corona pandemic period. The rise indicates a promising recovery of the tourism industry in Japan, and encourages more investment in the sector.

According to the Japan Tourism Organization’s latest report on foreign tourism consumption trends in Japan, total spending in the first quarter of 2024 increased by 73.3% year-on-year to reach 1.7505 trillion yen. This increase is 52.0% higher than the same period in 2019, before the outbreak of the corona virus.

Tourism expenditure of foreign visitors to Japan for tourism and leisure purposes was approximately ¥205.00 per person, and the average number of nights spent in Japan was 6.5 nights per person.

When analyzing spending by nationality or region, China took the top spot with 3,526 billion yen in total spending, accounting for 20.1% of the total. Taiwan is next with 2,512 billion yen or 14.4% of total spending, followed by South Korea with 2,379 billion yen or 13.6% of total spending. The United States is next with 1,716 billion yen in spending, or 9.8%, followed by Hong Kong, with 8.8%, or 1,543 billion yen in total spending. Finally, Australia comes in at 943 billion yen or 5.4% of total spending.

Spending by foreign tourists in Japan from January to March

Looking at the composition of expenses by item, we see that accommodation expenses account for 32.1% of total expenses, followed by shopping expenses at 29.2%, and then food and beverage costs at 21.7%. In terms of shopping expenses, the spending rate increased from 24.6% in the period from January to March 23 to 5,114 billion yen in 2024.

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In terms of the highest amount spent per capita on travel, Australia ranks first with ¥373,000, followed by the United Kingdom with ¥367,000 and Spain with ¥352,000. The US comes in at 303,000 yen, while China comes in at 293,000 yen.

The JTO team conducts the survey four times a year, asking foreign tourists to participate in the departure lounges of airports and seaports across the country. Survey researchers submit questions via tablets or paper forms to explore the purposes of their visit to Japan, amount of spending, and other factors. This data is analyzed to arrive at detailed results, and the study aims to collect a target sample of 33,840 participants in each study cycle.

(Original text in Japanese, title image from © Pixta)

Foreign tourists
Japanese government

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