Aussie visitors to Japan-a record high
SYDNEY January 23, 2014 – 2013 was a record year for Japan in many ways. Mt. Fuji was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list and Japanese cuisine was listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Then in September, the IOC announced Japan as the host for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In Australia, 2013 was set as the Australia-Japan Tourism Exchange Year promoting bilateral exchange in the tourism industries of both countries.
One of the biggest achievements was when in December, Japan welcomed its 10th million overseas visitor with a special ceremony at Narita International Airport.
For the 12 months from January~ December 2013, Japan received 10,363,900 overseas visitors. This is a 24% increase to the same period previous year. 244, 600 Australians visited the country, amounting for 2.4% of the total inbound arrivals to Japan. This is a record for Australia, surpassing its previous high of 242,031 visitors in 2008.
Compared to previous years, January, March, April and December 2013 were particularly strong for Australian arrivals to Japan with all four months exceeding past visitation numbers. A strong winter season in January and a stronger Australian dollar and the corresponding weak yen made Japan an attractive and cost effective destination for Australian.
“Japan is a popular tourist destination for Australians and we are seeing increased repeat visits. Leading to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we will aim to continue achieving record high numbers and hope that more Aussies will visit Japan soon”, commented Hiroshi Kuwamoto, Executive Director of JNTO Sydney.
“Jetstar’s four times weekly non-stop service between Melbourne and Tokyo that is set to begin operations from 29 April 2014 will make it easier and quicker for travellers from Victoria to visit Japan without having to waste time on transfers.”
“Japan’s distinct four seasons offer an abundance of activities, apart from the popular skiing in winter and cherry blossom viewing in spring. Summer is the perfect season for outdoor activities, such as hiking, rafting and diving, while the colourful leaves known as ‘koyo’ paint the country in vivid red and yellow, making the tranquil autumn season perfect for exploring. It’s needless to say that visitors can savour local delicacies in any season, as well as try some cultural experiences such as kimono wearing or taking up a cooking class, learning how to prepare some authentic Japanese dishes.”, further explained Mr. Kuwamoto.