Tourists’ spending on foods in Japan hits a record high in 2017

TOKYO, Feb. 12 — Overseas tourists’ spending on foods in Japan surged to a record high in 2017, with the growing worldwide popularity of traditional Japanese cuisine, called washoku.

While visiting Japan, overseas tourists spent a record 345.6 billion yen in 2017, up 19% from a year earlier, preliminary estimates from the agriculture ministry showed.

Tourists’ spending on Japanese snacks totaled 158.9 billion yen, while that on other foods including sake, tobacco and beverage products was 186.8 billion yen.

The top spenders on foods were from China, South Korea and Taiwan, highlighting Japan’s popularity as a destination for Asian neighbors. There was also a growth in visitors from Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States.

Facing an aging and shrinking population, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe put tourism at the core of Japan’s economic growth strategy.

In 2017, there were 28.7 million overseas visitors to Japan, spending 4.4 trillion yen, driven by the weak yen boosting the nation’s travel boom to a new record. That was an 18% increase from a year earlier, according to Japan Tourism Agency.

Japan now has a goal of 40 million annual visitors in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

In the same vein, the agriculture ministry is pushing farmers to diversify into agri-tourism, by promoting farm stays, or nohaku, in rural villages to revitalize local economies. It offers tourists an opportunity to experience traditional Japanese countryside life.

This entry was posted in Food & Agriculture, Others. Bookmark the permalink.