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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/01/2013 -- BMI's Annual Japan Tourism report examines the long term investment potential of large tourist industries in Japan as well as the trends in for inbound and outbound tourism.
The report looks at the overall impact of the March 2011 earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear crisis on the Japanese tourism industry, examining the subsequent measures taken to both repair the damage to infrastructure and to entice travellers back to the country. In the wake of the earthquake and nuclear crisis, inbound tourist figures fell 27.78% to 6.2mn in 2011. By the end of 2012 these figures had stabilised to approximately 7.14mn but we do not expect Japan to regain the 2010 arrivals figure of 8.61mn until 2014.
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BMI forecasts are based on investment in tourism infrastructure and an improvement in the global economy, as well as the continued attractiveness of Japan as a tourist destination. In light of this, we believe that arrivals will eventually reach 11.95mn by 2017.
By the end of 2012, rebuilding efforts had progressed but BMI believes significant progress has yet to be made on a large portion of the project pipeline. Despite the economic restraints and the sheer scale of general infrastructure repair projects required after the earthquake Japan continues to invest in tourist infrastructure development with several major rail and airport expansion projects expected to start or complete in 2013.
The global credit crunch will continue to have an impact on long distance travel from Europe and the United States, as well as depressing domestic travel in 2013 and 2014 but there is expected to be an increase in tourism from the Asia Pacific region. Political tensions with China concerning the territorial claims on the Sekaku islands could also affect on inter-regional tourism, both inbound and outbound from China, despite Japan recently easing visa regulations to facilitate travel. Similarly, diplomatic tensions with South Korea may also affect travel between the two countries. The Liberal Democrat Party elected into power in December 2012 is expected to take a more hard-line foreign policy stance and this may further affect tourism from China and South Korea.
Japan is bidding to host the 2020 Olympic Games, which would substantially boost infrastructure investment and domestic/international tourism. Results of the bid will be announced in September 2013. The country remains an attractive and popular tourist destination thanks to its combination of traditional and modern culture, well preserved historical sites and excellent transport links, both domestic and international.
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