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Most municipalities nationwide expecting more foreign visitors due to 2020 Tokyo Olympics: survey

Kyodo

Municipalities across Japan are expecting the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year to bring more foreign visitors to their tourist attractions, a Kyodo News survey showed Saturday.

In the survey, which was conducted between May and July on 1,780 municipalities, 51 percent expect the sporting events’ spectators from abroad to travel to their areas.

The government has set a target of attracting 40 million foreign visitors and having them spend ¥8 trillion in 2020.

Of the local governments surveyed, 17 percent said they are carrying out promotional campaigns such as introducing local attractions in YouTube videos and via social networking services.

Some 42 percent said they are considering promotional activities to attract foreign visitors, but have yet to make detailed plans.

“We see a high possibility of tourists to our city increasing in tandem with the rise in the overall number of foreign visitors to Japan,” said an official in Hakodate, Hokkaido.

Some municipalities are not so optimistic, with 24 percent saying the Olympics are not expected to have any impact on the number of tourists in their areas.

“We don’t expect (the Olympics) to bring benefits to every part of the country,” an official in Makurazaki, Kagoshima Prefecture, said.

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