With Japan’s population contracting and ageing, there is increasing pressure on inbound tourism to generate sales in the Japanese travel market. The Japanese Government is working towards ambitious targets of raising inbound tourist numbers from below 20 million in 2015 to 40 million by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and 60 million by 2030.
The rapid growth of online sales is encouraging an increasing number of non-travel players to enter the Japanese travel market. DMM, an e-commerce company known for its online shopping and video on-demand services, and Line, the most popular communication app in Japan, are amongst the non-travel players working to develop online travel operations.
Competition between low cost carriers (LCCs) and scheduled airlines has been most intense in domestic and short-haul flights. However, LCCs are increasingly expanding their mid-distance international operations.
The development of Japan as a tourist destination is involving a growing emphasis on locations beyond the country’s major metropolitan areas. Raising awareness of the appeal of Japan’s natural environment is a key element of the Japan Tourism Agency’s policies aimed at generating growth in inbound tourism.
Japan is expected to see continued strong growth in inbound arrivals over the forecast period. Growth will be supported by significant investment in infrastructure, targeted legislation and promotional activities on the part of national and local governments.
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