Foreign visitors to Japan increased by 3.8% in February compared with the same time last year to an estimated 2.604 million, according to data released by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). This surpasses the 2.509 million of February 2018 and marks a record high for the month.
The largest growth was from Vietnam with a year-on-year increase of 68.6%. JNTO pointed out that tourist products appealing to the beauty of winter in Japan were being received favorably.
The number of tourists coming for winter attractions such as Snow Festivals is increasing from Southeast Asia, including Vietnam and India. The data will provide a boost for local governments and overseas operators who are hoping for IR development in snowy Hokkaido.
There are also good numbers of tourists coming from the United States. There was an increase of 13.2% in US visitor numbers from last year to 92,000 people, also another record for February.
“There has been high demand for cruises to Japan due to joint projects with cruise operators,” the JNTO said. “There has also been an increase in exposure for Japan as a destination from our provision of information and support to media outlets.”
This is another big boost to inbound visitors to Japan. Last year broke all previous records with over 31.192 million visitors. The government is aggressively aiming for 40 million visitors in 2020 and 60 million visitors by 2030.