The number of tourists coming from Japan to France is set to grow from 1.1 million in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2023, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.6%, according to the analysis of GlobalData.
The latest report of the analytics company reveals that Japanese tourists are specifically drawn to Paris due to their perception that it is a romantic city. According to the report, France surpassed Guam in 2018 to become the fifth-largest outbound market for Japanese travelers.
While Guam is a destination that is much closer to Japan (roughly an average flight time of 3 hours and 45 minutes, compared to 12 hours and 50 minutes to France), the Japanese are willing to sacrifice these aspects of a holiday to experience the French destinations due to the nation being heavily romanticized by the Japanese media.
This substantial growth forecast illustrates that the Japanese source market is willing to sacrifice affordability and sometimes accessibility due to the cultural draw of a destination.
The city of love and romance has become a popular tourist destination due to Japan's fascination with all French things. Cities such as Tokyo are brimming with French patisseries and luxury French fashion outlets like Chanel and Louis Vuitton.
It is clear that most Japanese tourists are flocking to Paris, contributing to the growing issue of over-tourism in the capital.
According to experts, Atout France – the national tourism development agency – should focus on promoting less touristic cities to the Japanese source market, such as, for example, Bordeaux. This French city became popular for its cuisine and many castles, which are the type of known stereotypes that attract Japanese travelers.