Japan looks to Chinese visitors to boost spending slump

1 Jul 2010

Japanese consulates in China today government will start accepting applications from Chinese travellers with an income of CNY60,000 (US$8,832) instead of the previous CNY250,000 (US$37,000) in an effort to boost Japan’s flagging economy.

The move (see news) extends the availability of Japanese travel visas from wealthy Chinese to the middle class. The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) recently reported that around 110,000 Chinese visited the country for business or leisure in May, up 86 percent from a year earlier, when Japan began to issue individual Chinese tourist visas. It estimated that the number of Chinese tourists heading to Japan will reach 1.5 million this year.

These visitors have been observed to enjoy shopping, not just in the tourist areas but also in places frequented by local residents, a good sign in Japan where domestic spending is at a slump. Electronic appliances have been popular buys with Chinese travellers.

As with other destinations, Japan has found China to be a consistent visitor generating source, thanks to the country’s stable economy. This has led JNTO to be optimistic that China will help Japan reach its quota of reaching 25 million foreign visitors by 2020.

Margie T Logarta

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