According to Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of foreign visitors to Japan in May 2014 (preliminary figure) was 1.097 million, an increase of 25.3% compared with the same month last year. The total number of the foreign visitors from January to May 2014 has already exceeded 5 million with the record setting growth. JNTO considers some of the factors contributed to this strong growth are: the increased supply of flight seats, the visa waiver for the visitors from Southeast Asia and coordination between air and travel companies.
Looking at these visitors by individual countries and areas, the number of visitors from Taiwan and India reached the record high for a single month, and the number of visitors from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, the United States, Canada, France and Germany marked the record high for May.
Among these markets, China and Taiwan are notably strong. Visitors from China were 165.8 thousand, an increase of 103.0% compared with the same month last year, while visitors from Taiwan were 282 thousand, an increase of 44.1% which was the record high for a single month. Because of this strong growth, the total number of the Taiwanese visitors from January to May exceeded the number of the visitors from Korea and topped all countries and areas. On the contrary, the number of visitors from Korea, being affected by the passenger ship wreck, was 195.3 thousand, a decrease of 14.6% compared with the same month last year.
Moreover, the number of foreign visitors to Japan in May 2014 was the highest record for the month of May. The previous record for the same month was marked in 2013 with 875thousand visitors, thus the visitors in this May surpassed it by 222 thousand.