Japan intends to draw a record number of inbound travelers in 2025, according to a draft of a government plan seen by Kyodo News on Thursday.

The 2023 to 2025 tourism plan also strives to boost per-person spending to $1,500 (200,000 yen) — up about 25 percent from the pre-pandemic level. The plan includes marketing efforts to coax travelers to visit more than just Tokyo and other well-known cities.

This proposal would be a return to Japan’s ambitious tourism trajectory. At 2020’s start — before the pandemic went global — Japan had aimed for a year-end goal of welcoming 40 million tourists, as Skift reported at the time. That would have been the country’s highest-ever visitor count.

The new plan is still subject to change and would need approval by the governmental cabinet.

Japan spent more than $1 billion over a decade to become more friendly to foreigners to welcome people to the Summer Olympics. That spending might yet pay off, even though the Olympics were a financial bust.

As Skift reported recently:

“Compared to before, Japan now offers more extensive free Wi-Fi, more infrastructure supported with multilingual signage, and increased deployment of universal designs for those with disabilities,” said Michiaki Yamada, executive director of the Japan National Tourism Organization’s New York office since May.

In recent months, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) said arrivals were rebounding but remained down roughly two-thirds below the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. (You can see Japan’s latest tourism statistics here.)

Japan’s depressed yen has attracted tourism from new markets with temporarily stronger currencies.

“Passenger demand from Canada to Japan is more than double what it was in 2019,” Reuters reported.

Kyodo News report

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