Foreign tourists’ spending in Japan hits record ¥2.6 trillion amid Chinese ‘explosive buying’

Kyodo

Spending by foreign tourists in Japan hit a record ¥2.60 trillion ($21.7 billion) in the January-September period, already surpassing the all-time high of ¥2.28 trillion for the whole of last year, the government said Wednesday.

Spending in the July-September quarter totaled an estimated ¥1.001 trillion, marking the first quarter during which spending by foreign tourists has topped the ¥1 trillion mark, the Japan National Tourism Agency added.

The figures suggest that Chinese travelers continued their “explosive buying” despite concerns about a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

The number of foreigners visiting Japan is also increasing, estimated at 14.49 million between January and September, up 48.8 percent from a year before, and over 15 million as of Oct. 9, against the annual record of 13.41 million logged in 2014.

The government aims for annual spending of ¥4 trillion, compared with ¥1.08 trillion in 2012 and ¥1.42 trillion in 2013.

The increased figures are “the result of relaxation of visa requirements and expansion of duty-free items,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference on Wednesday, adding the government will continue deregulation.

By country and region, Chinese travelers spent the most in the July-September period at ¥466 billion, followed by travelers from Taiwan at ¥138.9 billion and those from Hong Kong at ¥80 billion.

In the same period, spending per visitor stood at ¥75,535 on average, while the figure for Chinese was ¥143,620.

  • boonteetan

    Big spender tourists from China are boosting tourism in Japan, pouring money into the nation with explosive buying. Would Tokyo still want to antagonize Beijing? Think first.

    • ponkawolla

      Big spender tourists from China separate politics from shopping. They began visiting Japan en masse due to relaxed visa restrictions and the weaker yen. Tokyo has been antagonizing Beijing the past few years, yet inbound tourists from China have not been affected.

  • boonteetan

    Big spender tourists from China are boosting tourism in Japan, pouring money into the nation with explosive buying. Would Tokyo still want to antagonize Beijing? Think first.

  • Ahojanen

    Chinese mass purchase is temporary and unreliable. Japanese hosts and suppliers should think next. Diversify target international groups instead of focusing on Chinese tourists.