According to Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of foreign visitors to Japan in August 2014 (preliminary figure) was 1.11 million, an increase of 22.4% compared with the same month last year. It was the highest monthly figure for August exceeding the previous record high by 0.20 million; the former record was 0.91 million accomplished in 2013. Also, foreign visitors to Japan exceeded 1 million for 6 consecutive months since March 2014. The total number of the foreign visitors from January to August 2014 was 8.64 million, an increase of 25.8% compared with the same period last year.
Looking at the visitors by individual countries and areas, the number of visitors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, India, U.S.A., Canada, France and Germany reached the record high for August. China remained to be the biggest foreign visitor market in August with 0.25 million visitors, an increase of 56.5% compared with the same month last year. Korea came in the 2nd in the number of the visitors with 0.25 million, an increase of 16.7% compared with the same month last year and exceeding the figure from the previous year for 2 month in a row. Taiwan was the 3rd with 0.23 million, 17.9% increase and Hong Kong was the 4th with 0.07 million, and the number of the visitors from those 2 areas reached the record high for 19 consecutive months starting February 2013.
Among the Southeast Asian countries, the highest number of the visitors for each month was marked for 29 consecutive months for Thailand and 32 consecutive months for Vietnam. The visitors from Malaysia and Indonesia decreased compared with last August, because Ramadan (fasting month) break vacation fell on July in 2014, however sums of the visitors in July and August increased compared with the same period last year by 25.0% and 4.1%.
JNTO remarked that some of the factors attributed to the continuous growth of the foreign visitors were: promotions to attract foreign tourists to Japan during the summer, increase in the available flight seats because of increased flights and new chartered flights, and large cruise ships called at Japanese ports.
(Travel Voice Editorial Department)