Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/11/2014 -- BMI's report on Japan's tourism market looks at a range of key growth indicators, including inbound travel, the hotel sector, receipts from travel-related expenditure and overall industry value. The October 2013 announcement that Japan will host the 2020 Summer Olympics is proving a valuable boost to expanding of tourism in Japan, and as such we expect to see solid growth throughout our current forecast period through to 2018 as the build up to the games gathers pace.
Hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics should hasten Japan's recovery from the widespread infrastructure damage caused by the Great East Japan earthquake, the resulting tsunami and the nuclear crisis of March 2011. Tourism to Japan saw substantial decreases in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, with arrivals to Japan falling by 27.78% to 6.2mn in 2011. However, thanks to the wide range of attractions the country has to offer and its strong history of tourism, inbound arrivals have made an impressive recovery, with 2013 arrivals reaching over 9.5mn. We expect growth to continue, with arrivals forecast to reach an impressive 13.2mn in 2018.
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The growth in inbound travel is largely supported by major markets in the Asia Pacific region, with China and South Korea proving particularly important sources of inbound travel to Japan. It is therefore important that current diplomatic tensions between the countries are delicately handled in order to prevent any decline in international relations. The Asia Pacific region will remain by far the most important market for Japan, far ahead of arrivals from Europe and North America.
Outbound travel is likely to show less substantial growth. However, the outbound travel market is already well established, with the number of travellers from Japan reaching over 26mn in 2018. While stagnant domestic economic conditions are likely to limit growth in outbound travel, the market has already reached an impressive size, with the number of departures per 1,000 of the population likely to reach a relatively high 0.21 in 2018.
Infrastructure is in need of extensive investment as Japan continues to work towards recovery from the damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Japan's construction sector is performing well, with the latest estimates from the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry showing that monthly value-added construction activity grew by 13.3% year-on-year in September 2013, the highest monthly growth rate in a decade. We believe this indicates that the economic stimulus package approved by the Liberal Democratic Party on January 11 2013 is providing strong impetus in spurring reconstruction and infrastructure activity in the country. This growth can only benefit the long-term future of tourism in the country.
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