Chinese visitors to Japan skyrockets 83% in 2014
Chinese visitor numbers to Japan soared 83% y-o-y in 2014, totaling 2.4092 million trips and total expenditure reached 560 billion yen (approx:US$4.8 billion),
The number of Chinese visitors visiting Japan during the Spring Festival is expected to far exceed last year’s number as the Japanese consulate in China revealed it granted a record 250,000 tourist visas to Chinese applicants in January alone.
Chinese visitor numbers to Japan soared 83% y-o-y in 2014, totaling 2.4092 million trips, according to the Japan Tourism Agency. Total expenditure reached 560 billion yen (approx:US$4.8 billion), or 231,700 (approx:US$1,970)yen per visitor, which is over three times more than the 75,800 yen average spending of Korean visitors and twice that of Taiwanese visitors.
Japanese retailers are targeting the pocketbooks of Chinese visitors during the Spring Festival with a rich range of select luxury goods.
Isetan Mitsukoshi has commissioned a 14,400 yen (approx:US$122) high-fashion wool and silk suit, designed and produced in Japan, that is tailored to suit the size and preferences of Chinese men. Seibu Department Stores are offering 10 carat gold framed spectacles. Daimaru Matsuzakaya debuts a one million yen(approx:US$8,500) diamond ring and necklace gift bag. Takashimaya Department Store’s hand-crafted iron tea kettles that range from 100,000 to 200,000 yen (approx:US$850-1,700) have been popular with Chinese and this year it is launching a 1.296 million yen(approx:US$10,700) luxury version. Citizen Watch also specifically designed a 50,000 yen(approx:US$425)automatic wristwatch for the Chinese market.
“The main reasons for the surge in Chinese visitors to Japan is the drop in prices thanks to the weakening yen, rich tourism resources, excellent shopping facilities, increased transport links between the two countries, the Japanese government’s easing of visa restrictions and the decline in popularity of SEA tourism,” China National Tourism Administration representative in Japan Xilong Zhang said.
Japan now has more than 10,000 duty-free stores that allow shoppers with a short-term visa to enjoy instant 8% rebates on purchases.
Many duty-free stores and department stores in Tokyo have Chinese-speaking staff and some have set up translation centers to further facilitate better communication with customers, while staff in other stores are aided by Chinese-Japanese translation devices. As a result Chinese tourists rarely encounter language barriers during their visits to Japan. (Translation by David)