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Ski Resorts in Fukushima are Crowded with Tourists

News Despite the fact that this spring Japan suffered from the worst nuclear accident in its history, some resorts in the surrounding regions managed to improve their statistics. Just eight months after closing refugee camps, some ski resorts in Fukushima say their winter bookings are just 30% lower comparing to the previous year.

Devastating earthquake, tsunami and leak of the reactor took away approximately 230 thousands of people. However, if in April 2011 the decline in the number of visits in the country estimated 63%, in October it already was 15%. Hotels chains across Japan expand, and more international flights are added by Japanese airlines. Chinese tourists are the main moving force for this – the number of tourists from this country is already at the level of the previous year.

Even strong yen, which makes rest in the country less affordable to tourists from the US and Europe, is not the obstacle for Greater China visitors. Comparing to October 2010, the number of tourists from Hong Kong increased by 17%, and by 2.6 – from Taiwan. The number of tourists from China fell by 50% in April, but then rose to its usual level of 2010.

Currently the majority of foreign tourists in Japan are visitors from Asia (around 70%). The US visitors make up 9.5% of the total number of tourists. This year Japanese yen reached the postwar record exchange level, 75.35 yen for 1 dollar, showing the growth of 7.9%. At the same time, the growth of yen comparing to yuan estimated only 3.4%. Chinese become richer and they want to travel, so whole Asia region, especially Japan, expects the increased number of tourists. This year around 65 million of Chinese will travel abroad. When asked about radiation, many people say they are not much concerned about this issue and consider the unaffected regions safe.


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