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Japan's tourism industry - statistics & facts

The tourism industry in Japan encompasses a wide range of sectors and businesses, including the dining and hotel industries, transportation, travel agencies, as well as parts of the leisure industry. As such, the tourism industry is important to the leisure sector and the Japanese economy in general. Tourism also plays an important role as the bridge that allows for intercultural exchange. The tourism industry is thought to have high growth potential and is seen as a possible driver of the Japanese economy. This is reflected in the active efforts of the Japanese government to promote and expand tourism, particularly inbound tourism. Domestic tourism represents the lion's share of the tourism industry's contribution to the gross domestic product, but its chances to further prosper are deemed to be limited. This is shown in figures relating to domestic tourist spending, which has stagnated during the past decade. On the other hand, the value of tourism expenditure of international visitors to Japan has increased significantly in recent years.

Tourism amid the COVID-19 pandemic

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020, inbound and outbound international travel nearly disappeared, while domestic tourism declined significantly, as exemplified by figures relating to the number of domestic travelers in Japan. After the first COVID-19 wave was brought under control, the government devised a nationwide scheme to help reinvigorate the hard-hit sectors of the Japanese service industry. Dubbed the “Go to Travel” campaign, and the “Go to Eat” campaign, the government attempted to boost domestic travel and the restaurant industry by providing citizens with a subsidy when traveling or dining out at participating entities. The programs were successful in attracting participants. From August to December 2020, the number of overnight stays which made use of the “Go to Travel” program totaled approximately 85 million. The “Go to Travel” program was suspended at the end of December 2020, and is still on suspension as of August 2021, since the high number of COVID-19 positive cases made the program’s reinstatement impossible.

Holiday destination Japan

In recent years, the government’s focal point has revolved around inbound tourism. Various steps had been taken to make the trip to Japan possible or to improve the experience of foreign visitors, such as measures to ease travel visa requirements regarding various countries, creating more airport landing slots, and providing easier hotel billing codes, to name just a few. Consequently, the number of international visitors coming to Japan increased significantly in the past decade. Japan further plans to facilitate shopping tourism and to become a hub for international conferences. Japan seems to be in a unique position when it comes to welcoming international tourists. From its wellness and relaxation offers to original products and services, vibrant metropolises to remote hiking tracks, and cultural activities and attractions to scenic nature settings – Japan has a diverse range of tourism activities to offer.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Travel and tourism industry in Japan" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Tourist hotspots

Travel agency market

International tourist preferences

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 42 most important statistics relating to "Travel and tourism industry in Japan".

Travel and tourism in Japan

Dossier on the topic

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Japan's tourism industry - statistics & facts

The tourism industry in Japan encompasses a wide range of sectors and businesses, including the dining and hotel industries, transportation, travel agencies, as well as parts of the leisure industry. As such, the tourism industry is important to the leisure sector and the Japanese economy in general. Tourism also plays an important role as the bridge that allows for intercultural exchange. The tourism industry is thought to have high growth potential and is seen as a possible driver of the Japanese economy. This is reflected in the active efforts of the Japanese government to promote and expand tourism, particularly inbound tourism. Domestic tourism represents the lion's share of the tourism industry's contribution to the gross domestic product, but its chances to further prosper are deemed to be limited. This is shown in figures relating to domestic tourist spending, which has stagnated during the past decade. On the other hand, the value of tourism expenditure of international visitors to Japan has increased significantly in recent years.

Tourism amid the COVID-19 pandemic

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020, inbound and outbound international travel nearly disappeared, while domestic tourism declined significantly, as exemplified by figures relating to the number of domestic travelers in Japan. After the first COVID-19 wave was brought under control, the government devised a nationwide scheme to help reinvigorate the hard-hit sectors of the Japanese service industry. Dubbed the “Go to Travel” campaign, and the “Go to Eat” campaign, the government attempted to boost domestic travel and the restaurant industry by providing citizens with a subsidy when traveling or dining out at participating entities. The programs were successful in attracting participants. From August to December 2020, the number of overnight stays which made use of the “Go to Travel” program totaled approximately 85 million. The “Go to Travel” program was suspended at the end of December 2020, and is still on suspension as of August 2021, since the high number of COVID-19 positive cases made the program’s reinstatement impossible.

Holiday destination Japan

In recent years, the government’s focal point has revolved around inbound tourism. Various steps had been taken to make the trip to Japan possible or to improve the experience of foreign visitors, such as measures to ease travel visa requirements regarding various countries, creating more airport landing slots, and providing easier hotel billing codes, to name just a few. Consequently, the number of international visitors coming to Japan increased significantly in the past decade. Japan further plans to facilitate shopping tourism and to become a hub for international conferences. Japan seems to be in a unique position when it comes to welcoming international tourists. From its wellness and relaxation offers to original products and services, vibrant metropolises to remote hiking tracks, and cultural activities and attractions to scenic nature settings – Japan has a diverse range of tourism activities to offer.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 42 most important statistics relating to "Travel and tourism industry in Japan".

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