Japan targets 18mn arrivals by 2016

JAPAN – Japan will address damage to its tourism reputation in its next five year plan and aims to achieve 18 million arrivals by 2016.

The number of foreign visitors to the country hit a record high of 8.61 million in 2010, falling short of the targeted 10 million. Tourism growth in 2011 then took a big hit after the 11 March earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis, which caused total arrivals to drop to 6.22 million for the year.

The new tourism promotion plan sets an overall tourism revenue target of JPY30 trillion (US$388 billion) in five years, with JPY18 trillion spent by Japanese domestic travellers on overnight stays, JPY6.5 trillion spent by Japanese making day trips, and JPY3 trillion in spending by foreign tourists. It will also aim to raise average stays among domestic travellers from 2.12 to 2.5 nights per trip.

Outbound travel will also be on the agenda as the government looks to encourage young Japanese to travel abroad after a survey revealed a reluctance to do so.

Meanwhile, foreign travellers will be targeted by marketing campaigns which dispel myths surrounding natural disasters and promote destinations in Japan, using government and private sector channels to boost overseas trips to 20 million between 2011 and 2016.