Japan expects over a million Thai tourists in 2023
The number of Thai tourists to Japan has increased more than four times — from 7,600 in September to 34,000 this month — with a million more people expected to come in 2023, as Japan ended its Covid-19 entry restrictions and eased visa requirements.
Thai-Japan Tourist Association president Anake Srishevachart forecast that Japan will see more than 10,000 Thai travellers visiting the country during the fourth quarter of this year.
“In 2023, if there is no repetition of the pandemic outbreak and the flights between Thailand and Japan are back on track, the number of Thai travellers to Japan will return to the normal level — 1.3 million people —equivalent to the 2019 pre-Covid-19 level,” said Anake.
He added that more than a million people are expected to come in 2023 to benefit from the depreciation of the yen.
A report from Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) said that of the 31 million foreign visitors to Japan in 2019, 1.3 million are Thai, accounting for 4.1% of visitors, while Thailand is ranked sixth among the most travellers to Japan, behind South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States. However, Thailand was the only one in the Asean region with more than a million tourists entering Japan.
However, it is believed that the number of Japanese tourists going to Thailand is contracting due to a lack of airline flights and the depreciation of the yen.
The president of the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), Tadashi Shimura, said on November 19 at the Japan-Thailand Tourism Seminar held by JNTO that he did not think depreciation of the currency is an obstacle for Japanese to visit Thailand because the baht is in a similar situation. If airlines increase their Thailand-Japan flights, it would help generate more demand for travel, he said.
JATA revealed that they had used “content" to urge Japanese to visit Thailand. Instead of Bangkok and Chiang Mai, they presented the beauty of those in secondary provinces such as Songkhla, Khon Kaen, Buri Ram, and Kanchanaburi.
Also, the association intended to boost the collaboration between management agencies through digital channels to deal with changing travelling trends.
Statistics from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) showed that 226 million Japanese tourists visited foreign countries during 2011-2019. Of the total, 79 million travellers went to East Asia while 40 million people went to Asean countries.
“In 2019, specifically, the number of Japanese people visiting Thailand [1.8 million] and Thai people visiting Japan [1.3 million] were more or less balanced,” said Shimura.