Ja­pan most pop­u­lar for Chi­nese tourists


Ja­pan is prov­ing to be the most pop­u­lar over­seas des­ti­na­tion for Chi­nese main­land tourists dur­ing the on­go­ing sev­en­day Na­tional Day hol­i­day (from Oct. 1 to 7), ac­cord­ing to a re­port from Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency.

Based on the com­pany’s book­ing in­for­ma­tion, Ja­pan will top the over­seas hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion list ahead of the tra­di­tional hot spots South Korea, Thai­land, Hong Kong and Ma­cao, Tai­wan and the United States.

Com­pared to the hol­i­day pe­riod last year, the num­ber of main­land visi­tors to Ja­pan will dou­ble, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased by the China Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion on Sun­day.

The in­flux of main­land Chi­nese visi­tors has been a welcome shot in the arm for Ja­pan’s econ­omy, with ho­tels in Tokyo see­ing their oc­cu­pancy rate in­crease to 93.5 per­cent, bounc­ing back to the level be­fore the eco­nomic de­pres­sion, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the Tourism In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­pan cited by the web­site China.org.cn on Mon­day.

In July, the Ja­pan Tourism Agency es­ti­mated that there were 9.14 mil­lion for­eign visi­tors to Ja­pan in the first half of the year, up 46 per­cent from the same pe­riod last year and rais­ing ex­pec­ta­tions for a record num­ber of visi­tors in 2015.

It added the num­ber of visi­tors from the Chi­nese main­land was around 2.18 mil­lion in the first six months, dou­ble the same pe­riod last year.

Hong Kong was the big loser dur­ing this year’s hol­i­day, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment from China’s tourism au­thor­ity. There were 1.27 mil­lion visi­tor ar­rivals to the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion dur­ing the first three days of the hol­i­day, down 5.18 per­cent year-on-year, of which 430,000 were from the main­land.

On the other hand, South Korea has re­cov­ered from the heavy hit its tourism in­dus­try took be­cause of the out­break of Mid­dle East res­pi­ra­tory syn­drome thanks to the in­tro­duc­tion of pref­er­en­tial visa poli­cies and tourist dis­counts.

The re­port from Ctrip sug­gests the United States is also at­tract­ing grow­ing at­ten­tion from Chi­nese tourists thanks to the in­tro­duc­tion of more con­ve­nient visa poli­cies for visi­tors from the main­land.

In 2014, there were over 2.18 mil­lion visi­tors from the main­land to the U.S., a year-onyear in­crease of 20 per­cent. The up­ward mo­men­tum con­tin­ued in the first half of this year with a 16 per­cent in­crease year-onyear, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from Tu­niu, a Chi­nese online tourism ser­vice provider.

The three cities that main­land Chi­nese leader Xi Jin­ping vis­ited dur­ing his state visit to the U.S. — New York, Washington and Seat­tle — were the top choices for main­land tourists, said Tu­niu based on its tourism ser­vices search­ing and book­ing in­for­ma­tion.

“The im­proved tourism en­vi­ron­ment in­clud­ing the smoother visa process and more ex­pe­ri­ences in out­bound tourism have en­cour­aged more Chi­nese tourists to go over­seas by pre­sent­ing them with more choices in­stead of just the tra­di­tional nearby hot spots such as Hong Kong, Thai­land, and South Korea,” said Xu Xiaolei, the spokesman for China Youth Travel Ser­vice.

The do­mes­tic tourism mar­ket is also ex­pected to wit­ness a hol­i­day boom, with the num­ber of hol­i­day vis­its pre­dicted to reach 750 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a Xin­hua News Agency re­port on Mon­day that cited data re­leased by the Trans­port Min­istry.

“Trips are con­cen­trated on pop­u­lar tourism places such as Bei­jing, and Guang­dong, Sichuan and An­hui prov­inces,” said Liu Pengfei, the min­istry spokesman.

Over 640 mil­lion trips are ex­pected to be made by rail, up 1.6 per­cent on the same pe­riod of last year.

The num­ber of trav­el­ers us­ing the rail­ways on the peak days — the first and last two days of the hol­i­day — are ex­pected to ex­ceed the peaks dur­ing this year’s Spring Fes­ti­val hol­i­day, the China Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion said.

Dur­ing the 40- days of the Spring Fes­ti­val hol­i­day rush, around 7.3 mil­lion peo­ple trav­eled by train each day. How­ever, the daily fig­ure trans­porta­tion so far dur­ing the Na­tional Day hol­i­day has been 13 mil­lion. Top des­ti­na­tions: 1. Tokyo 2. South Korea 3. Thai­land 4. Hong Kong 5. Ma­cao 6. Tai­wan 7. United States

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