24 Million Visitors to Japan in 2016
In January 2017, the Japanese government reported a record number of visitors to Japan from overseas, with just over 24 million tourists spending about 3.75 trillion yen in the country in 2016. These are both all-time highs for the Land of the Rising Sun and shows that the government proactive police to encourage visitors from overseas to spend time and money in this country is definitely paying dividends. The only real down side to the large inflow of overseas tourists to Japan, is the fact that this has clearly started to strain the capacity of this country to host more and more travelers from abroad, as its transport and accommodations infrastructure is being pushed to its limits. For example, according to Narita International Airport Corporation, the number of foreign passengers who traveled to and from the airport aboard international flights last year exceeded that of Japanese passengers for the first time since the airport opened about 40 years ago. Also in January, the Osaka tourism authorities announced the large influx of foreign travelers to the region, for the past several years, has meant Osaka has had one of the highest hotel occupancy rates of any major city in the country, running at nearly 90 percent certain times of the year. Under these circumstances, our office is looking to expand the number of low and medium-rise resort and business hotels in this country constructed with wood, just like we have seen been designed and built in North America that past 10 years.