Japan is preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympics by building more hotels. People from all over the world will be traveling to Tokyo when the games arrive in town next year.
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) recently announced that the number of hotel rooms in Japan’s top three markets will rise by 38% before the 2020 games. That represents rooms in the markets of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. You might be wondering if so much building is really necessary. Officials from the JNTO insist that it is. They claim that Japan’s major markets are actually suffering from what they are calling a shortage of hotel rooms. Japanese officials aren’t just focusing on making sure there’s enough room for guests on land. Japan has also chartered two massive cruise ships that will be used to accommodate visitors while the games are going on in 2020.
There’s no doubt that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will draw an unprecedented number of visitors to Japan next year. However, Japan hasn’t exactly been hurting as far as tourism goes. Japan is actually in the middle of a huge tourist boom that’s been steadily accelerating throughout the last decade. The country had a record year for tourism in 2018. A record 31.2 million people visited Japan in 2018. That number represents an increase of almost 9% from the year before. What’s more, it’s actually about four times as many visitors when compared to 2008. Japan can thank visitors from the United States for part of the boom. Guests from the United States accounted for 1.5 million visitors last year. The United States is actually the top long-haul source market for Japan.
Japan’s tourism industry isn’t just seeing huge growth when it comes to the number of people who are visiting annually. The country is also seeing a huge increase in visitor spending with each year that passes. In fact, visitors spent a whopping $40.4 billion in Japan during 2018.
The JNTO plans to attract 40 million visitors by 2020. That shouldn’t be hard to do in light of the fact that the Olympics will land in Tokyo right in the middle of the busy summer travel season. Japan’s Olympic torch relay is set to begin in Fukushima. There’s a good chance that 2019 will also be a record year for Japan’s tourism industry. The country will be hosting the Rugby World Cup during the fall. Japan is actually the first Asian country to host the event.
[Image Source: Source Flickr/t-mizo]