2006 was a record year for tourism in Japan. The numbers of visitors were up 9% on 2005 at an all-time high of 7334.000. The reasons for this success have been placed mainly on Japan’s co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup enhancing the Asian nation’s reputation on a global scale.
Japan is witnessing the increasing numbers of South Koreans. Indeed, the number of South Koreans in Japan in 2006 was up by an astounding 28.9%. Staying on the subject of Japan’s neighbours, the Chinese market has similarly erupted in recent years following the facilitation of visa regime between the two countries. Although Japan is known to be a cash culture, more and more credit cards are becoming accepted in various parts of the country. It is important for Chinese travellers who are restricted by their government in the amount of cash while abroad.
This influx of tourists has lead to investors putting huge amounts of money into building, managing and restoring hotels in Japan. Although the hotel business is renowned for being risky, investors see Japan as a perfect site to plant their seeds. From a mere 5 business and resort hotels sold in Japan in 200, the number is now above 90, with revenue reaching over $9 billion.