Record visitor numbers to Japan as Lonely Planet awards world’s #2 country
SYDNEY October 28, 2015 – Japan is more popular than ever, with the latest statistics released by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) showing visitor numbers to Japan are at an all-time high. Preliminary figures for January to September 2015 show a 48.8% increase from the previous year with 14,487,600 foreign visitors in total (267,600 Australians), already breaking last year’s 13 million visitors record.
Japan has been attracting significant attention as a hot destination with recent accolades for the country including number one dream destination on Twitter for Australians; number one in Future Brand’s Country Brand Index 2014-2015; and number two for 2016 on the wish list of global travellers in Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Survey 2015.
The announcement by Lonely Planet that Japan is the number two country to visit in 2016 is further evidence of Japan’s popularity. This is the second time since 2011 that Japan has ranked in the Best in Travel Top 10 Countries, jumping from number ten to number two.
Japan has been selected by Lonely Planet’s panel of experts for this prestigious title at a time when the value of the yen makes Japan good value for money; accessibility continues to improve with new bullet train routes and flight paths; and Japan prepares to host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
JNTO is taking this opportunity very seriously for tourism promotion in the upcoming year, and will continue the Visit Japan projects to encourage even more visitors to travel to Japan. In addition to the popular ski and cherry blossom seasons, JNTO is promoting Japan in the summer off-peak season as well as outdoor activities such as hiking and walking.
Mariko Tatsumi, JNTO Sydney Executive Director, is enthusiastic about the Lonely Planet announcement stating, “JNTO Sydney has some exciting projects coming up. We hope that Australian and New Zealand travellers can discover for themselves why Japan is THE place to visit!