Japaneses ‘Tourism White Paper 2023’ refers to structural challenges in the travel industry, focusing on sustainable growth of local tourism communities

The Japanese government accepted ‘Tourism White Paper 2023,’ which refers to structural challenges in the travel industry, such as paycheck, labour shortage or employment, and significance to promote sustainable growth of local tourism communities through creation and sales of high-valued experience contents.

According to the white paper, the highest employee turnover rate among all industries was found in hospitality and drinking and eating service industries with 25.6%. While the tourism businesses have been recovering, low productivity has come to the surface more seriously than before. One of the solutions is to strengthen power to earn in the tourism industry, reported by the white paper. 

Japan’s tourism GDP is much behind the world 

Tourism GDP of Japan was 11.2 trillion JPY in 2019, which accounted for 2% only of the entire GDP. Although it had steadily increased every year before the pandemic, the rate was much behind the G7 average of 4%. 

Added value per employee amounted to 4.91 million JPY in the tourism industry and 5.34 million JPY in the hospitality industry, which were much lower than 8.06 million JPY on average in other industries. As far as the hospitality industry is concerned, the added value in Japan was much lower than 9.76 million JPY in U.S., 7.09 million JPY in Spain or 6.9 million JPY in Italy. 

The white paper points out that it is crucial for the tourism industry of Japan to reform its industry structure to a profitable industry by tackling increases in both unit prices and customers. In addition, an increase in added value enables an increase paychecks and reinvestment to digital transformation efforts. 

It is also important for local tourism communities to share or analyze data that can visualize power to earn on Regional Economy Society Analyzing System or RESAS. 

Sophisticating tourism stories with local people 

As local lifestyles are more attractive for both domestic and inbound travelers as tourism contents than before, the white paper says that it is significant for local governments or DMOs to sophisticate stories behind the lifestyles as tourism products and encourage visitors to stay longer with high value experiences, together with local people and different industries, and then earning or taxes should be returned to local communities for sustainable growth. 



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