(Yicai Global) Sept. 21 -- Some 81,000 Chinese tourists went to Japan last month, setting a single-month record high and marking a 21 percent annual increase, Japan National Tourism Organization data show.
The number of trips foreigners took to Japan this year surpassed 20 million by Sept. 15 -- 45 days earlier than it did last year -- and the preference of tourists from Asia gradually shifted from group tours to individual ones, Nikkei quoted Japan Tourism Agency Director Akihiko Tamura as saying at a news conference yesterday.
Driven mainly by Chinese travelers, the number of foreign tourists to Japan hit 18.91 million during January to August this year, up 18 percent annually. The figure for the whole year will likely reach 30 million, Tourism Administration data show. The Japanese government aims to attract 40 million visitors a year by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Increases in the number of individual and cruise travelers as well as those getting visas to visit Japan led to an influx of Chinese visitors last month.
More flights to Japan also helped, and the volume of Japanese-bound tourist from ten countries and regions achieved double-digit growth last month.