JAPAN hit a milestone in July with a record number of monthly tourist arrivals – a whopping 2.68 million. This has been attributed to the summer season and an increase in low-cost carriers to the Kansai region and Hokkaido, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.
The figures grew by 16.8 percent from the same period last year, a sign that growing travel demand is to be expected in the Land of the Rising Sun.
China made up the biggest tourist market at 780,000 in July alone followed by South Korea at 644,000. The tourism agency also noted a rise in visitors from the Philippines and Vietnam.
Last month, Japan Times reported that the number of visitors and spending in the first six months of the year hit a record high; foreign visitors spent approximately US$9 billion, up 8.6 percent from the previous year.
Japan has been gearing up for the 2020 Olympics with development of infrastructure and accommodation. To prepare for the games, the government said it will target ¥8 trillion (USD$80 billion) in spending by overseas visitors by 2020.
Besides that, The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is set to test a system allowing travelers to make payments at popular tourist spots using only their fingerprints.
To use the service, travelers are required to register their fingerprints and credit card details in advance to make cashless payments for dinner, accommodation, and other services.