From Justin Bieber to Jack Ma, foreign visitors are being spotted everywhere in Japan these days.

After opening its borders last month, nearly half a million people descended upon the country. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida wants to boost annual spending by foreign tourists to ¥5 trillion ($36 billion), above the ¥4.8 trillion recorded in 2019 before the pandemic hit. China’s "COVID zero" makes that difficult — Chinese not only made up around one-third of visitors, they were also among the highest-spending by nationality, dropping 33% above the average during their stay.

With hotels and restaurants already struggling to find enough staff to cope, some are asking if the country’s pre-pandemic obsession with boosting the sheer volume of tourists has been a misstep — and what it can do to get fewer tourists to spend more.