Japan hit 30 million tourist record in 2018

The number of international visitors has been increasing for seven years straight

With its unique cultural and natural heritage, it is no wonder that Japan is becoming more and more popular among international travellers. And, according to the Japan National Tourism Organisation, the number of visitors tends to increase even further.

The government aims to welcome over 40 million visitors in 2020 when Japan will be hosting the Olympic games — bondakkarachai / Shutterstock Japan hit 30 million tourist record in 2018
The government aims to welcome over 40 million visitors in 2020 when Japan will be hosting the Olympic games — bondakkarachai / Shutterstock

In 2018, more than 30 million international travellers visited the country, which is an 8.7 per cent increase from 2017, the organisation has announced.

The Land of the Rising Sun is becoming so attractive that the number of visitors has been increasing for seven straight years. And last year’s figures managed to break an all-time record.

“Tourism to Japan from the United States about five per cent of the total soared 11 per cent, with more and more Americans seeking beyond the classic tourism destinations of Tokyo and Kyoto to discover lesser-known parts of the country. 

“American tourism to Japan is expected to continue to rise in 2019 as the country builds up to host major international sporting events, with a host of prestigious American media including Japan in their much-valued annual lists of the most recommended places to visit in the coming year,” said Naohito Ise, executive director of the Japan National Tourism Organisation in New York.

The Japanese government estimated similar figures in December. According to Keiichi Ishii, who is Japan‘s land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister, the growth was significantly influenced by the relaxation of visa requirements for travellers from Russia, India, the Philippines, and other countries.

Recently, the government has also implemented a $9 (¥1,000) departure tax for every traveller leaving Japan. The funds will be used to promote Japan overseas, Ishii said.

The government also aims to welcome over 40 million visitors in 2020 when Japan will be hosting the Olympic games.