Predictions 2023: New Year Expectations for Japanese Tourism from an Expert
, 2023-01-02 00:34:50,
The last three years never ceased to amaze me. Any conversation that continued long enough, somehow managed to end up discussing the pandemic. Even deniers and anti-vaxxers had to talk about COVID to describe what they were denying. Granted, it was a collectively traumatizing period that our grandchildren will inevitably be forced to listen to someday. As for Japanese tourism, so many people wanted to visit or live in Japan and couldn’t.
Sometimes I regretted my lack of foresight in choosing the travel industry for a career in the first place. And although it took longer than most countries, I can confidently say that Japan is and will remain open. Mask-wearing aside, most locals have grown COVID-weary. Japan has joined the rest of the world in saying, “Good grief, let us move on with our lives.”
That’s one reason why 2023 will undoubtedly be a year of growth in the travel market for domestic, inbound, and outbound Japanese tourism. Here are some trends and predictions for 2023.
Predictions: Visitors Remain Below Pre-Pandemic Levels
In the peak travel year of 2019, almost 32 million people visited Japan. While 500,000 people visiting in October 2022 was an encouraging sign, there remains a significant gap with pre-pandemic levels.
In fact, the government predicts it will take until 2025 to recover 2019 visitor numbers. Whether reinstating this level of mass tourism is even desirable is open to much debate. Still, the…
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