More than half a million Australian tourists visited Japan in 2018, setting a new annual record, according to the latest figures released by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). New monthly Australian arrival records were set for every month of 2018, with annual visitor numbers ending the year 11.6 percent higher than 2017, a total of 552,400.
JNTO statistics also revealed that Australians were Japan’s highest spending tourists in 2018, with an average spend of 242,050 yen per person (or AUD 3,075) per visit.
The record visitor and spending figures were driven by new flights and increased airline capacity, favourable exchange rate conditions and an increasing recognition of Japan’s broad appeal as a tourist destination.
Overall, more than 31 million global visitors travelled to Japan in 2018. This was an increase of 8.7 percent from 2017.
Kana Wakabayashi, JNTO Sydney Office Executive Director, said: “Australia is now Japan’s seventh largest market for the total number of overseas visitors, and the rate of growth is really exciting. Favourable economic conditions now mean Australian dollars go further in Japan than many other currencies, and the statistics show our Australian visitors are taking full advantage to spend more yen than tourists from our other key markets such as China, Korea and the USA.”
JNTO data also showed Australian tourists are staying significantly longer in Japan than most other visitors in 2018, with an average stay of 13.2 nights, compared to the average of 9.1 nights. Longer stays were also prevalent, with 43% of Australians spending more than two weeks in Japan to take full advantage of the many destinations, experiences and attractions the country has to offer.
“We have had a great deal of support from trade professionals in inspiring travel to Japan. This, teamed with the introduction of new direct flights, increased capacity and special fare campaigns, have all helped to grow Australian visitor numbers,” added Wakabayashi.
JNTO expects the positive trend to continue in 2019 as Japan hosts the Rugby World Cup from 20 September through to 2 November across twelve cities in Japan. Looking further into the future, Japan’s tourism industry will receive boosts from major international events such as the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Kansai World Masters Games in 2021 and the World Expo in Osaka 2025.
Apart from major events, Australians are being drawn to Japan for experiences unlike anywhere else in the world. The multitude of things to do means that Japan can appeal to many different types of travellers including foodies looking to indulge in one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants; families looking to take advantage of the affordable world-class attractions; adventure seekers looking for more thrills on the slopes; nature lovers taking in some of the country’s beautiful landscape; or people immersing themselves in Japan’s rich and unique history and culture.
Note to editors: The latest figures and trends can be seen at a dedicated website for Japan tourism statistics. Please visit https://statistics.jnto.go.jp/en for more information.