(Bloomberg) — The number of visitors to Japan rose to a record for the month of October, as arrivals from China doubled in response to the cheap yen and looser visa laws, a sign that the government’s efforts to boost tourism are paying off.
The number of visitors in October rose to 1.8 million, up 44 percent from last year, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday. Chinese visitors doubled to 445,600, followed by visitors South Korea, who numbered 378,000. Visitors from Canada rose to 22,000, a record for a single month, the agency said.
Since the start of the year, 4.3 million Chinese tourists have visited the land of the rising sun.
With the world’s third-largest economy falling into recession the second time since 2012, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is betting that overseas tourists can help boost growth. The Abe administration is targeting a rise in international visitors to 20 million by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics, a target officials have said is well within reach. There were 16.3 million visitors in the first ten months of 2015.
The government is so close to achieving its target that it’s going to set a new goal this fiscal year, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said earlier this month. The Abe administration is targeting international visitors rising to 30 million by 2030.
A relaxation of visa restrictions and a slide in Japan’s currency are helping to lure visitors. The yen has slid to 123 against the dollar, compared to 81 three years ago.
This article was written by Stephen Stapczynski from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.