Japan tourism booms as COVID curbs end

TOKYO, Dec 22 (inverelltimes.com.au) - Visitor arrivals to Japan have jumped to almost one million in the first full month since the country scrapped COVID-19 curbs that effectively halted tourism for more than two years.

Data released on Wednesday showed the number of foreign visitors, for both tourism and business, rose to 934,500 in November, almost double the October figure, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) said.

Still, arrivals were down almost two-thirds compared with pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

"The demand for Japan out of North America is very strong right now," Air Canada vice president of international sales Virgilio Russi told Reuters before Wednesday's numbers were released.

Passenger demand from Canada to Japan is more than double what it was in 2019, Russi added, citing a shift away from China among business travellers as well as tourists taking advantage of the current weakness of the yen. ...continue reading