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Japan bumping up prices as tourism numbers surge

As tourists continue to visit Japan in record numbers, many tourism businesses and attractions across the country are increasing prices, charging more for foreign visitors to enjoy certain products and experiences




Himeji Castle is considering a major price rise for foreign tourists

Tourists flocking to Japan to take advantage of the weak yen are having to pay more for certain experiences, with many businesses and attractions adjusting their pricing as overseas visitor numbers rise.

Last week, the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) revealed that May saw a 9.6% increase in overseas visits compared to May 2019, with the result the third consecutive month this year where tourist numbers have exceeded three million people.

So far this year, Mt Fuji has capped visitors numbers at 4,000 people per day, with the iconic landmark also introducing a fee to climb the most popular trails.

Meanwhile, attractions including heritage sites are eyeing a two-tier ticketing system, with a general price for locals and an increased fee for visiting tourists, with the money used to supplement the maintenance and preservation fees that locals are already paying through tax.

“Foreign tourists come here once in their lifetime, but locals enjoy this place regularly,” said Hideyasu Kiyomoto, mayor of Himeji city, home to the Unesco World Heritage site Himeji Castle. According to reports, the heritage attraction is considering quadrupling its prices - but only to foreign visitors.

Businesses in high foot-traffic areas are also bumping up prices, with restaurants and other tourism businesses charging a premium “Gaijin tax”, which they say helps “to keep up with demand”.

Individually, cities like Osaka are also considering the implementation of a fee for overnight visitors. Osaka in particular is set to host Expo 2025, with the event expected to significantly increase tourism numbers.

The most telling statistic highlighting Japan’s tourism surge comes with the news that the industry is now the country’s second-largest export category, with only the lucrative motor industry outsourcing tourism, which has quintupled in Japan over the last decade.

American tourists in particular have been intrigued by a visit to Japan, with 900,000 US visitors travelling there in the first five months of 2024 - an increase of 17.4% year on year. Demand has been booming across the Asia-Pacific, drawing in travellers from China as well as the US and the rest of North America. Airbnb has also reported a 130% increase year-on-year in nights booked by American guests in Japan.


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Japan bumping up prices as tourism numbers surge | Planet Attractions
news

Japan bumping up prices as tourism numbers surge

As tourists continue to visit Japan in record numbers, many tourism businesses and attractions across the country are increasing prices, charging more for foreign visitors to enjoy certain products and experiences




Himeji Castle is considering a major price rise for foreign tourists

Tourists flocking to Japan to take advantage of the weak yen are having to pay more for certain experiences, with many businesses and attractions adjusting their pricing as overseas visitor numbers rise.

Last week, the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) revealed that May saw a 9.6% increase in overseas visits compared to May 2019, with the result the third consecutive month this year where tourist numbers have exceeded three million people.

So far this year, Mt Fuji has capped visitors numbers at 4,000 people per day, with the iconic landmark also introducing a fee to climb the most popular trails.

Meanwhile, attractions including heritage sites are eyeing a two-tier ticketing system, with a general price for locals and an increased fee for visiting tourists, with the money used to supplement the maintenance and preservation fees that locals are already paying through tax.

“Foreign tourists come here once in their lifetime, but locals enjoy this place regularly,” said Hideyasu Kiyomoto, mayor of Himeji city, home to the Unesco World Heritage site Himeji Castle. According to reports, the heritage attraction is considering quadrupling its prices - but only to foreign visitors.

Businesses in high foot-traffic areas are also bumping up prices, with restaurants and other tourism businesses charging a premium “Gaijin tax”, which they say helps “to keep up with demand”.

Individually, cities like Osaka are also considering the implementation of a fee for overnight visitors. Osaka in particular is set to host Expo 2025, with the event expected to significantly increase tourism numbers.

The most telling statistic highlighting Japan’s tourism surge comes with the news that the industry is now the country’s second-largest export category, with only the lucrative motor industry outsourcing tourism, which has quintupled in Japan over the last decade.

American tourists in particular have been intrigued by a visit to Japan, with 900,000 US visitors travelling there in the first five months of 2024 - an increase of 17.4% year on year. Demand has been booming across the Asia-Pacific, drawing in travellers from China as well as the US and the rest of North America. Airbnb has also reported a 130% increase year-on-year in nights booked by American guests in Japan.


 



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2024