The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in January to June rose 15.6% from a year earlier to 15.89 million, a record for the six-month period, the Japan Tourism Agency said in July.
Increases in budget airline flights, mainly in East Asia, led to robust growth, with Chinese independent travelers and cruise ship passengers pushing up the total figure, according to the agency.
By country and region, China accounted for the largest number of foreign tourists at 4.05 million, up 23.6%, followed by South Korea at 4.02 million, up 18.3%, and Taiwan at 2.51 million, up 9.5%.
A separate report showed spending by foreign tourists in the six-month period through June reached 2.24 trillion yen, up 9.3% from a year earlier.
Overall expenditure by international visitors to Japan for the April to June quarter was 1.1233 trillion yen (USD 9.9 billion), up 4.2% from a year earlier. Among that, the travel expenditure of general visitors (international visitors excluding cruise passengers) was 1.096 trillion yen, and the travel expenditure of cruise passengers (with landing permission for cruise ship tourists) was 27.3 billion yen.
Spending per visitor in the April-June quarter declined 3.5% to about 144,000 yen, apparently due partly to a fall of spending by Chinese visitors on items such as cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.
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