Japan has a significant tourism market. The contribution of travel and tourism industry to Japan’s GDP is 6.7%. This figure is forecast to rise in the future. The industry involves a number of players: the lodging industry, tourist attractions, the transportation sector, restaurants and retail shops.
Following the excellent results in recent years in number of visitors, the tourism sector is emerging as a new economic driver for Japan.
As of August, over 8,600,000 foreigners have visited Japan so far in 2014. This represents a 25.8% increase relative to the same period last year, and it looks as if the number of visitors to Japan this year will be substantially higher than last year’s total of 10,363,000. Historically, Japan has had an economically weak hotel sector which has not reached the levels expected of the world’s third largest economy. In recent years, the sector has grown after undergoing a major recovery following the damage endured during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Restaurants & Catering
Japan’s food industry is closely related to its economy, following the difficult year of 2011, a stable increase was noted in 2012 particularly in the casual quick service restaurants and high-end establishments. Changing habits are reflected in the decrease of traditional, family-run restaurants, which are steadily being replaced by new chain restaurants.