Japan Tourism shows signs of recovery

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Japan’s tourism industry is showing clear signs of recovery for 2012 following the tsunami earlier this year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

The WTTC’s second quarterly report into Japan’s recovery, uses data from the Japan National Tourism Organisation and STR Global, foreign visitor numbers in June and July were 36% lower than in the same period last year. In comparison, visitor numbers fell 62% in April and 50% in May.

The report into the earthquake and tsunam and uts impact on travel and tourism, also shows demand for hotel rooms improved in June and July compared to previous months but was still around 5% down on June and July 2010.

Japan’s inbound tourism recovery will be further helped by a forceful marketing campaign by the Japan Tourism Agency.

WTTC president and chief executive David Scowsill said: “As the world’s largest travel and tourism economy in the world, the recovery of Japan is one of the most compelling issues facing the industry anywhere in the world.”   Prior to the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, Japan’s travel and tourism industry was expected to provide nearly 1.5 million jobs in 2011 and to directly contribute 2.2% of total Japan’s gross domestic product.

The news of a recovery has been backed up by specialists to the destination. Tour operator InsideJapan Tours said departures were almost back to normal figures by September compared to June when bookings were only 60% of those in the same month a year earlier.  Strong hotel deals and flight prices are expected to aid the recovery.

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