In light of the rapid increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan, Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Ichiro Takahashi predicted that the number of tourists visiting Japan per month will recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

According to a summary by the Japan National Tourism Organization, it is estimated that more than 232.2019 million foreign tourists visited Japan last month, which has recovered to a level of 77% compared to 21, before the spread of the new coronavirus.

In response to this, Mr. Takahashi, Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, said at a press conference on March 10, "The number of visitors to Japan is gradually improving, and we will firmly work to expand the two-way recovery of foreigners coming to Japan and Japan people leaving for foreign countries."

Furthermore, regarding the lifting of the ban on group travel from China to Japan on October 10, Secretary Takahashi stated, "We assume that group tourists from China will be in full swing during the National Day in October, and we are considering that the number of visitors per month will return to pre-corona levels by the end of this year."

On the other hand, Minister Takahashi stated, "Due to the rapid recovery in tourism demand, labor shortages have become prominent at accommodation facilities, and there are situations where accommodation facilities have no choice but to reduce their capacity," and expressed the government's intention to strengthen support to solve the labor shortage in the lodging and travel industries in order to respond to the expected rapid increase in demand in the future.

Group travel from China resumes, boosting inbound consumption

The number of foreign tourists, which has dropped significantly due to the influence of Corona, has been increasing rapidly recently.

According to a summary by the Japan National Tourism Organization, an estimated 7.232 million foreign tourists visited Japan in July, exceeding 2 million for the second consecutive month.

It has recovered to a level of 7% compared to 2019, before Corona, when July had the most visitors to Japan.

On the other hand, travelers from China have been slow to recover.

In July 77, travelers from China accounted for more than 2019.7 million tourists, accounting for 105% of all foreign tourists, but last month there were only more than 35,31, accounting for 13% of all foreign tourists.

Travelers from China have been slower to recover than travelers from other countries and regions, but this is partly because the Chinese government has restricted group travel to Japan since the pandemic.

Under these circumstances, the Chinese government lifted the ban on group travel to Japan on the 10th of this month, and on the 18th of this month, the first group of tourists from Guangzhou in southern China arrived at Kansai Airport.

If the number of tourists from China recovers further in the future, it is expected to boost inbound consumption in the country.

What will happen to the number of foreign tourists and inbound spending due to the resumption of group travel from China?

According to estimates by the Daiwa Institute of Research, assuming that the number of tourists from China will recover to the pre-pandemic level by March of next year, the number of foreign tourists this year is expected to increase to 1.3 million, 2430.6 times from last year.

As a result, the amount of inbound consumption is expected to increase by about 3 billion yen to around 2000.4 trillion yen.

However, given the growing popularity of non-Japan destinations such as Southeast Asia among Chinese travelers since the pandemic, and the recent slowdown in the recovery of the Chinese economy, the pace of recovery from China needs to be closely monitored.

Ehime invites media representatives to visit Chinese tourists

In an effort to attract Chinese tourists, Ehime Prefecture invited 13 people from local travel agencies and media to visit the area.

With the aim of disseminating the charms of Ehime through the media and SNS, the group visited Matsuyama Castle on the 20th and received an explanation about the construction of the castle in Japan by the guide at the Tsutsui Gate, which is registered as a national tangible cultural property.

Also, at Honmaru Plaza, where you can overlook Matsuyama City, you can take pictures of the city scenery and take commemorative photos with your camera and smartphone.

A person in charge of a Chinese newspaper said, "Unlike big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, I think you can travel at a leisurely pace, and the nature and environment are very good."

Regarding this visit, Ehime Prefecture also hopes to resume regular flights between Matsuyama and Shanghai, which have been canceled due to the spread of the new corona infection.

Tomoaki Hashimoto, chief of the Ehime Prefecture Tourism International Division, said, "There is no prospect of resuming international flights at Matsuyama Airport, but we would like to encourage people to effectively disseminate the contents of their visits."

The group will stay in Ehime Prefecture until the 22nd and visit Dogo Onsen.