A strong growth of international arrivals was registered in Japan. The travel trade reported 43% increase in tourist expenditures.
The last quarter of 2014 showed a 40% increase of international arrivals in Japan, 3.67 million tourists. The whole year registered 13.41 million tourists, which is 30% more than in 2013.
The international arrivals are an important sign of the increasing popularity of Japan among travelers. The tourist expenditures grew even more – an increase of 52% was recorded only in the last quarter, 560 billion yen, USD 4.7 billion.
The Japanese government has introduced a number of changes and activities to attract more international tourists. The first step was working on visas, abolishing the formal prerequisites on a large scale and making them easier to obtain. The most important improvement, though, was making shopping cheaper. The government focused on lifting the tax on a series of consumer goods, from clothing to cosmetics which, along with a 40% decrease of yen's value over two years, is making Japan interesting for shopping fans.
The tourist board is also working on the product. One of the main novelties for the upcoming season is the new tourist destination of Okinawa. This aims to take advantage of recent investments in holiday villages to become a seaside resort for international tourists as well.
The goal is to reach 20 million tourists for 2020, when Japan will host the Olympic Games.