The Daily Manila Shimbun


Spending by inbound tourists starting to pick up

August 19, 2017

TOKYO- Consumption by inbound tourists in Japan has started picking up, with retailers and the tourism industry aiming to encourage spending on unique experiences in the country or personal items, rather than souvenirs.

Department store operators previously enjoyed demand from foreign tourists, especially Chinese travelers, in "bakugai" explosive bulk-buying of products such as home appliances for families and friends.

According to the Japan Tourism Agency, travel-related spending, including hotel and meal charges, by foreign tourists totaled 1,077.6 billion yen in April-June, hitting a record high on a quarterly basis.

Of the total, spending on shopping grew 15 percent from a year before to 414.6 billion yen.

But spending per person dropped 5 pct to 57,420 yen, sharply lower than some 77,000 yen for April-June 2015, when bakugai demand was brisk.

The figures suggest that a fall in the amount of per-visitor spending has been more than offset by growth in the number of overall foreign visitors to Japan, industry sources said.

"There have been changes in how foreign tourists use their money during their stays in Japan, compared with the period when bakugai demand was strong," an official of the agency said. "An increasing number of tourists are spending much on items such as cosmetics and cameras for their own use." Jiji Press