Foreign tourism on pace to smash 30 million mark in 2018

Figures released recently by the Japan Tourism Agency found that, once again, the annual number of foreign tourists visiting the country will set a new record in 2018, most likely well above the 30 million mark.

Tourist numbers have skyrocketed in the Abe era, fueled by the relative devaluation of the yen, a relaxation of visa requirements for Chinese visitors and some others, and the enduring charm of Japanese culture within the international imagination.

Indeed, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, no other nation has seen tourist growth like that of Japan, which soared by 250 percent between 2012 and 2017.

Unless major political or economic events intervene, the government’s target of reaching 40 million foreign tourists in the Olympic year of 2020 no longer sounds as far fetched as it once did.