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How Japan Is Surging the Tourism Industry with New Visa-Free Entry Policy for 71 Countries

June 17, 2024
International Affairs
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Japan boosts its tourism industry by implementing a visa-free entry policy for 71 countries, including Schengen nations, USA, Canada, UK, and Turkey. Japan’s decision to implement visa-free entry for citizens of 71 countries, including those in the Schengen area, has given a significant boost to its travel and tourism industry. This policy change has made Japan more accessible to a vast array of international travelers, thereby catalyzing growth across multiple sectors of the travel industry. Leisure travel has seen a particular uptick as tourists from these visa-exempt countries take advantage of the easier access to explore Japan’s rich cultural heritage, vibrant cities, and stunning natural landscapes. Business travel has also benefited, with an increase in professionals visiting for short-term engagements, negotiations, and networking opportunities. Furthermore, the ease of entry has strengthened Japan’s position as a prime destination for international meetings and events, attracting large conferences, expos and corporate gatherings. This holistic enhancement in travel inflow is not only elevating Japan’s profile on the global stage but also significantly contributing to the economic vitality of its tourism sector. In March 2024, Japan experienced an unprecedented surge in international tourism, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). A record-breaking 3.08 million visitors entered the country, marking an 11.7% increase over the same month in 2019 and the first time ever that monthly figures have exceeded three million.

Leading the wave of visitors were tourists from South Korea, numbering 663,100, followed by Taiwan with 484,400 and China with 452,400. Notably, a substantial number of European tourists, totaling 1,663,432, also made their way to Japan during this period. The bustling activity extended to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, which, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, saw about 19.1 million international passengers in fiscal 2023—setting a new record. Further data from Statista highlights the allure of Japan’s natural and entertainment attractions. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park alone attracted 70.8 million visitors. Additionally, the iconic Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea theme parks drew a combined total of 22.09 million guests.

TTW Editor in Chief, Mr. Anup Kumar Keshan expressed that Japan’s policy of visa-free entry for citizens from 71 countries, including the Schengen zone, has significantly boosted its travel and tourism industry. The initiative has led to an increase in international visitors across various travel sectors, such as leisure, business, and event tourism. This surge not only showcases Japan’s rich cultural and natural offerings but also contributes to its economic growth. With easier access for a wide range of global travelers, Japan is reinforcing its standing as a premier destination for tourism and international events, reflecting a strategic move that promises sustained growth and enhanced global presence in the tourism market.

Financially, 2023 was a landmark year for Japan’s tourism sector. International tourism expenditure reached approximately 5.31 trillion Japanese yen, establishing a new record. This robust rebound in tourism revenue marked a complete recovery from the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had previously wiped out nearly all inbound tourism-related earnings.

The list of visa free countries are as under:

  1. France
  2. Cyprus
  3. Malaysia
  4. Lithuania
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Iceland
  7. Macao
  8. Barbados
  9. Hungary
  10. Poland
  11. Czech Republic
  12. Singapore
  13. Slovakia
  14. Bahamas
  15. Türkiye
  16. Chile
  17. Honduras
  18. Guatemala
  19. Lesotho
  20. Andorra
  21. Belgium
  22. Finland
  23. United Arab Emirates
  24. Tunisia
  25. Norway
  26. Ireland
  27. Netherlands
  28. Uruguay
  29. Hong Kong
  30. Sweden
  31. Qatar
  32. Croatia
  33. United Kingdom
  34. Spain
  35. Australia
  36. Switzerland
  37. Estonia
  38. Brazil
  39. Dominican Republic
  40. Thailand
  41. San Marino
  42. Taiwan
  43. Mauritius
  44. Liechtenstein
  45. Surinam
  46. Portugal
  47. United States
  48. Mexico
  49. Canada
  50. Indonesia
  51. Luxembourg
  52. Monaco
  53. Denmark
  54. Latvia
  55. Serbia
  56. Costa Rica
  57. Italy
  58. Germany
  59. Malta
  60. Argentina
  61. Israel
  62. New Zealand
  63. Slovenia
  64. Brunei
  65. North Macedonia
  66. Republic of Korea
  67. Panama
  68. Austria
  69. El Salvador
  70. Romania
  71. Greece

Here is a list of Schengen countries whose citizens are allowed visa-free entry into Japan:

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

In conclusion, Japan’s strategic move to allow visa-free entry for citizens from 71 countries, including those within the Schengen area, has invigorated its tourism industry across all fronts.

List of top 10 tourist spots in Japan:

  1. Mount Fuji
  2. Tokyo Tower
  3. Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
  4. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
  5. Fushimi Inari Shrine
  6. Nara Park
  7. Himeji Castle
  8. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
  9. Osaka Castle
  10. Akihabara

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