End of Japan COVID-19 curbs triggers surge in visitors to near 1 million in November

TOKYO: Guest arrivals to Japan jumped to almost 1 million within November, the first complete month after the country scrapped COVID-19 curbs that efficiently halted tourism to get more than two years, information showed on Wed (Dec 21).

The number of international visitors, for both tourism and business, rose to 934, 500 last month, almost double the October figure, the particular Japan National Travel and leisure Organization (JNTO) stated. Still, arrivals had been down nearly two-thirds compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

“The demand intended for Japan out of North America is very strong at this time, ” said Virgilio Russi, vice leader of international product sales for Air Canada, speaking Reuters within an interview before Wednesday’s numbers were released.

Passenger requirement from Canada in order to Japan is more compared to double what it is at 2019, Russi added, citing a change away from China amongst business travellers, and also tourists taking advantage of the present weakness of the yen.

“From a cost perspective, Japan is very reasonable right now, ” he said.

While the yen provides climbed this week after a surprise policy modify by the Bank associated with Japan, it remains 13 per cent less strong against the US buck this year. And while The far east has begun to relax its zero-COVID policy, analysts don’t expect its borders to reopen until March or even April.

Up to now this year, 2 . 46 million visitors have arrived in Japan, the JNTO data demonstrated. That’s a fraction of the record 31. 8 million in 2019 as well as the government’s original 2020 goal of 40 million, timed to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics that were eventually postponed due to the pandemic.

Japan upon Oct 11 ended some of the world’s most rigid border controls, plus Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is counting on tourism to boost the economy.

The government aims to catch the attention of 5 trillion yen (US$38 billion) in annual tourist spending. But that may be difficult to reach given Japan’s hospitality sector will be suffering from a work shortage and many Chinese language citizens remain not able to travel.

A record 9. 5 mil Chinese people reached Japan in 2019, close to a third of visitors.