According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), the number of Southeast Asian tourists to Japan is growing impressively while that from East Asia is showing signs of slowdown despite accounting for 73 percent of the total number of holidaymakers to Japan.
In 2018, tourists to Japan from Vietnam increased by 26 percent and from the Philippines, 19 percent. The number of tourists from Thailand exceeded 1 million.
A report of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) highlighted the potential of tourism from Southeast Asia. The number of vacationers from this region is projected to surge to 187 million in 2030.
Southeast Asian visitors to Japan are not only likely to lead in the number but also in spending.
According to the Japan Tourism Agency, in the first quarter of 2019, Vietnamese tourists ranked second in expenditure in Japan with JPY54,000 (US$500) per person, up 22 percent year-on-year, after China with JPY100,000 each.
Spending by tourists from Thailand and the Philippines were estimated at JPY40,000 and JPY30,000 respectively, surpassing that of those from developed economies such as the US and EU (around JPY20,000).
In order to promote tourism from Southeast Asian countries, the JNTO has built social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram for separate countries in the region.