The number of foreign visitors to Japan hit a monthly record of 2.68 million in July, due to the summer vacation season and an increase in low-cost carrier flights, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday.

A total of 2,681,500 travelers visited the country from overseas, up 16.8 percent from a year earlier. In July last year, 2,296,451 visited Japan.

The estimated number of foreign visitors in the first seven months of 2017 climbed 17.3 percent from the same period last year to 16,438,800, showing a faster pace of increase than in 2016. The number of visitors totaled 24,039,700 in all of 2016.

The agency attributed the uptick to growing travel demand during the summer and an increase in flights by low-cost carriers and other airlines that have drawn tourists to areas such as the Kansai region and Hokkaido.

By country and region, China accounted for the largest number of visitors at 780,800, up 6.8 percent from a year before, followed by South Korea at 644,000, up 44.1 percent. Visitors from Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam also rose, according to the agency.