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Osaka, Japan, Welcomed a Record Number of Tourists in 2017

News Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau revealed positive news about the tourist arrivals to the city. It turned out that 2017 was a milestone year for one of the most famous prefectures in Japan as Osaka welcomed as many as 11.11 million foreign tourists. This is the first time that Osaka reached a number of foreign visitors higher than 10 million people. That has become possible thanks to an increase in arrivals of 18% compared to 2016.

It’s not a secret that tourism is a very important sector for national and regional economics, and its potential is hard to overestimate. Thanks to tourist spending, Osaka economy received 1.19 trillion yen or US$10.74 billion last year. That is almost three billion more (US$2.81 billion) than in 2016. According to officials from Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau, such spending is not the limit as there is still much potential. That is particularly true about nighttime entertainment, sports, beauty services, and massage that need more promotion. There is also a proposition to make sightseeing available around-the-clock.

Hotels in Osaka mostly greet tourists from China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Visitors from these countries make up approximately 77% of total foreign visitors. Naturally, tourists from China are on top of the list. Last year, Osaka welcomed as many as 4.02 tourists from this country. At the same time, the prefecture becomes increasingly popular with tourists from South Korea. This source region has shown a significant growth in 2017. In total, Osaka prefecture attracted 2.41 million visitors from South Korea, reaching an increase of 53%. Without a doubt, that is the highest increase in the number of visitors from any region outside Japan.

Japan’s tourism sector will be in bloom in coming years as the country is hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. Even though the games will take place in Tokyo, many key destinations of the country will benefit from the increased interest towards Japan and its key regions. Osaka, for example, hopes to increase the number of foreign visitors to 13 million within two years.

Osaka is not the only region that experiences growth of tourism. The Japan Tourism Agency announced that in 2017 the country hit a new record in terms of the number of foreign tourists. Last year, 28,690,000 foreign travelers visited the country, showing the growth of 19.3% compared to 2016. Hotels in Tokyo had a significant chunk of the record spending of US$39.91 billion that foreign guests left in the country. Once again, tourists from mainland China were spending the most. Travelers from Taiwan (China’s) and South Korea ranked second and third respectively.


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