Neither Chinese nor American tourists spent the most per person in Japan last year.

A new study by the Japan Tourism Agency, part of the Japanese government’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, shows that the Japan travel boom is still going strong. According to the agency, during 2019 foreign travelers spent more money in Japan than ever before, with expenditures from foreign guests totaling roughly 4.8113 trillion yen (US$43.739 billion). That’s a 6.5-percent increase over the year before, and also the seventh year in a row for the record to be broken.

Chinese travelers left more of their money behind in Japan than tourists from any other nation, with the country’s contribution coming to 1.7718 trillion yen (more than a third of the total). Following China were Taiwan, Korea, and Hong Kong, with the United States, in fifth place, the highest-spending non-Asian nation.

● Expenditures from foreign travelers in Japan:
1. China: 1.7718 trillion yen
2. Taiwan: 550.6 billion yen
3. Korea: 420.9 billion yen
4. Hong Kong: 352.4 billion yen
5. U.S.A. 324.7 billion yen
6. Thailand: 172.5 billion yen
7. Australia: 152.7 billion yen
8. U.K.: 100 billion yen
9. Vietnam: 87.1 billion yen
10. Singapore: 85.6 billion yen

Spending per foreign traveler also rose to an all-time high of 158,458 yen, three percent higher than in 2018. However, the top rankings for per-person spending were very different from those for total spending, with China the only Asian country in the top five and Australia sitting at the top of the list.

● Expenditures per foreign traveler in Japan:
1. Australia: 249,128 yen per visitor
2. U.K.: 241,530 yen
3. France: 237,648 yen
4. Spain: 219,999 yen
5. China: 212,981 yen
6. Germany: 200,893 yen
7. Italy: 199,749 yen
8. U.S.A.: 190,582 yen
9. Russia: 183,294 yen
10. Canada: 182,215 yen

What’s more, travelers from different countries spent their money on different things, with Europeans splurging on hotel accommodations and food while Asian travelers allotted more of their budget to shopping.

● Hotel expenditures per person:
1. U.K.: 103,364 yen
2. France: 100,590 yen
3. Australia: 100,192 yen
● Food expenditures per person:
1. U,K,: 62,180 yen
2. Australia: 61,747 yen
3. France: 59,290 yen
● Shopping expenditures per person:
1. China: 108,800 yen
2. Vietnam: 58,191 yen
3. Hong Kong: 51,822 yen

The average U.S. traveler, incidentally, spent 83,794 yen on hotels (6th), 48,545 yen on food (7th), and 23,396 yen on shopping (17th).

Part of that hotel/food-versus-shopping gap can probably be chalked up to geographic reasons. Travelers from Japan’s Asian neighbors can hop on over for a quick getaway with just a few days off from work, but those coming from Europe or Australia are likely to be using a larger block of vacation time for their Japan travels. Sure enough, the big hotel/food spenders had longer average stays in Japan than the shopaholics…

● Average stay in Japan:
France: 17.1 nights
Australia: 12.8 nights
U.K.: 12 nights
China: 7.4 nights
Hong Kong: 6.2 nights
Vietnam: 36.6 nights

…with the startling exception of Vietnam, which topped the list at 36.6 nights. That’s more than four times the average foreign travelers stay of 8.8 nights, according to the agency’s statistics, and with per-person hotel expenditures of just 48,847 yen per Vietnamese traveler, an amazing display of bargain hotel hunting, unless a lot of them are in Japan on all-you-can-stay accommodation packages.

Source: Japan Tourism Agency via NHK News Web
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)
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