Diplomatic relations between Japan and China may not be in the most favorable state, but that doesn’t mean Chinese tourists aren’t visiting the rival country. Just the opposite, in fact. The latest data shows that the number of Chinese visitors in Japan has reached unprecedented levels as of late, making China the main source of Japan’s tourist visits.
4.3 million Chinese tourists traveled to Japan between January and October, accounting for 25% of the total number of visitors in the Land of the Rising Sun. That is not only double the amount of Chinese tourists which have visited Japan the year before, but it also puts China ahead of South Korea as the main source of foreign tourism for the country.
It is also worth noting that only 3.2 million South Koreans visited Japan in the same period, and that Taiwan, the third source country for Japan’s foreign tourism, only had 3.1 million nationals visiting the country in the period the data relates to.
There are several reasons behind this surge in Chinese tourism towards Japan, among which are the weakening of the yen, the newer, less strict visa rules which apply to Chinese nationals and have come into play in January, and a downturn from the Chinese towards Hong Kong, which was previously a more popular and desirable destination.
While most of the Chinese tourists who traveled to Japan in the later months did so for the first time, their main expenditure went to accommodation and shopping, thus helping the local economy greatly. Chinese shopping revenue is in fact so significant that these tourists have spent $830 million during the Golden Week, which takes place in October, alone.
It’s not just the number of Chinese tourists travelling to Japan that has gone up this year though. In fact, China registered 61.9 million outbound tourists during this year so far, which represents a boost of 12% compared to the previous year, and follows the trend which has been observed since the Chinese acquired the higher level of spending power.