Tokyo has become a world-renowned tourist destination, but many locals are concerned about the state of its tourism industry.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest.
1/9 Japan is facing a serious shortage of hotel rooms.
The country has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the world, according to data from hotel consultancy TripAdvisor.
That means more people are choosing to stay at home rather than visiting a hotel for the first time.
This has left a huge gap in accommodation supply, and is having an impact on Japan’s economy and infrastructure.
2/9 The number of Japanese who have visited the US has dropped dramatically in the past five years.
In 2017, nearly 4.7 million Japanese visited the United States, according the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC.
That was down from more than 6.5 million in 2016.
But there’s been a dramatic rise in Chinese visitors, with China’s population increasing by more than two million in the same period.
In 2018, the number of Chinese visitors to the US hit a record high, reaching nearly 7.2 million.
There’s also a dramatic drop in visitors from the rest of Asia.
In fact, in 2018, Japan’s visitors from Asia were down 15.6 per cent on the previous year, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
3/9 A new study from the International Tourism Organization (ITO) suggests that Japan’s domestic tourism industry could be in danger of falling into disarray.
The report, titled ‘Japan’s domestic tourist industry is at risk of further disruption’, says that the number and quality of domestic tourist visas are low.
The ITO report says that around one in five domestic tourists in Japan are currently not receiving the right kind of accommodation and that this could cause a further drop in the number arriving in Japan.
4/9 Most of Japan’s hotels are now fully booked, and the number is set to grow.
Last year, Japan saw a record increase in hotel occupancy, with more than half of hotels booking more than 100 rooms per night.
That figure is set for a record this year, with around one million hotel rooms set to be booked.
But demand from overseas is expected to outstrip supply.
The hotel industry has been in a long-running slump, and in some cases, has been forced to close altogether.
5/9 More people are visiting Japan to work than go to the country for leisure.
According to figures from the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), the number working abroad for leisure or study rose by more as many people are now choosing to work abroad than going for leisure reasons.
6/9 Many of Japan ‘s major corporations have been forced into taking on foreign staff.
In February, Tokyo-based SoftBank Group said it would invest an additional $1bn in Japan to support its expanding workforce, while Toyota Motor Group and Honda Motor Corporation have also said they will expand their operations abroad.
7/9 Some hotels are offering customers the option to stay in the hotel lobby, which has become an option for many locals.
Many hotels offer guests the option of staying in the lobby, and many offer rooms in the lounge areas or on the floor.
8/9 Travel agencies are also taking on more foreign staff, and some are opening more international destinations.
Travel agency Jana said in March it will open new office locations in China, and that it will also open offices in Mexico.
9/9 New foreign arrivals are also arriving in Tokyo.
According for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2020 Japan saw the highest number of foreign tourists in the global economy, at around 12.4 million.
The number is expected for a further increase of around 10 million.
1 /9 Japan has become the world-reserved tourist destination the past two years, but a large number of locals are worried about the status of its tourist industry.
In the past year, nearly 5.2million Japanese visited US.
That’s down from 6.9 million in 2017.
But, there’s a dramatic increase in Chinese tourists, with Chinese population increasing in the last five years by more.
In recent years, the country’s visitors have been down 15 per cent.
In 2020, the total number of international visitors to Japan hit a new record high of more than 7.1 million.
Japan’s international visitors from outside of Asia have also seen a dramatic decline in numbers.
In terms of foreign visitors, Japan was down 15 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.
2 /9 The total number and type of domestic visitor visas available in Japan have not kept up with demand.
According the JTA, there were 4.4m domestic visitor cards available in 2020, down from 4.5m in 2017, but up from just over 5m in 2015.
This was mainly due to a decrease in the availability of hotel accommodation.
3 /9 Most hotels in Japan now offer rooms for less than $10 per night, and more often than not, rooms are available for less.
The average room in a Tokyo hotel is $1,