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Japan surpasses the benchmark for 20 million visitors

It took just 10 months for tourism in Japan to beat its record breaking benchmark of 2015. Authorities expect close to 24 million international arrivals across the year 2016.

While the Japanese government doubled its goals last spring to 40 million visitors to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the results revealed by the Japan Tourism Agency this week confirm the excellent health of tourism in the archipelago. The estimation of 24 million visitors in 2016 represents growth by 20% over the previous year.

The current boom may be explained in particular by the dynamism of regional source markets: China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The 5 million Chinese tourists that that crossed the Sea of Japan in the first ten months of the year represent one quarter of the volume of arrivals, a proportion equivalent to that in 2015. Asian markets constitute 70% of the 20 million arrivals recorded since the beginning of the year.

All figures suggest that this new record for Japanese tourism should soon be surpassed, thanks to efforts made by the government to attract new visitors (with the simplification of certain visa procedures) that clearly produced results. Japan Tourism Agency also justifies this dynamism with the growth of cruise tourism. From January to September 2016, close to 1,200 cruise ships came to the shores of the archipelago - for 50% growth compared with the previous year.

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