Japan hopes to reach a new record level of visitors in 2025

Now that the country’s coronavirus-related entry requirements have been eased, Japan is eyeing a significant increase in tourist numbers, as well as increased visitor spending.

A Kyodo News report says the country’s leaders want to achieve a 10% increase in the number of overnight stays in regional areas of Japan by 2025. The new tourism plan also includes targets to increase spending by those visiting the country with the goal reaching about US$1,500 per person over the next two years. This represents a 25% increase compared to 2019, a year before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected tourism worldwide.


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also set a target for annual tourist spending, which he forecast to reach 5 trillion yen, up from 4.8 trillion yen spent by visitors in 2019.

The new tourism plan and the targets it includes are part of the government’s efforts to reach pre-pandemic levels of tourism.

In 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak, a record 31.8 million tourists visited Japan. Those numbers dropped dramatically as COVID-19 became a global crisis, totaling just 4.12 million in 2020 and 250,000 in 2021.

The details of the new tourism targets come as the government anticipates increased demand for international air travel. Also, 2025 will bring some big events in Japan including Expo 2025.

The tourism plan focuses on more than just financial goals and increasing visitor numbers. It also includes strategies for dealing with “tourism pollution” through efforts such as attracting sophisticated tourists and encouraging visitors to explore more than just urban centers, Kyodo News reported.

Fujinomiya Japan, Fujinomiya, temples, Japan temple, Temple in Japan
The Temple in Fujinomiya, Japan. (photo via Tourism Shizuoka Japan)

And at a time when sustainable behavior is more important than ever, the report includes targets for sustainable tourism. The details call for a significant increase in the number of areas in the country participating in sustainability efforts – from just 13 areas now to 100 by January.

Sustainability goals include requiring municipalities to meet specific criteria and receive some form of certification regarding efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

In mid-October 2022, as TravelPulse reported at the time, Japan reopened visa-free travel from dozens of countries around the world. It also eliminated its daily entry limit for tourist arrivals, which made it easier for visitors to plan their own getaway to the country without a qualifying booking through an approved travel agency or tour operator.

The move comes after more than two years of implementing some of the world’s strictest COVID-related border policies.

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