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Taiwan visitors rank as biggest foreign spenders in Japan in 2023

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CNA photo April 1, 2024

Tokyo, April 2 (CNA) Taiwanese ranked as the biggest spenders among foreign visitors to Japan in 2023, edging out visitors from China for the top spot, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

Taiwanese visitors spent about 783.5 billion Japanese yen (US$5.16 billion) in Japan during the year, up 42 percent from 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic brought a halt to the global tourism industry.

Spending soared despite the total number of visitors from Taiwan falling 10.4 percent from 2019 at 4.13 million, Japan Tourism Agency figures showed.

Part of the increased spending may have resulted from the devaluation of the Japanese yen, which in 2023 was worth about 20-25 percent less against the Taiwan dollar than in 2019.

China ranked just behind Taiwan in total spending, with 2.36 million visitors spending 760.4 billion yen, followed by South Korea with 739.2 billion yen spent by 6.94 million visitors in 2023.

Overall, total spending by foreign visitors in Japan hit a new high of 5.31 trillion yen in 2023, up 10.2 percent from 2019, with spending by Taiwanese visitors accounting for 14.8 percent of the total, the data showed.

Taiwanese visitors spent 274.2 billion yen on shopping, 220.3 billion yen on accommodation, 167.1 billion yen on dining, 79.8 billion yen on transportation and 41.4 billion yen on entertainment and other services, according to the data.

Japan has long been the most favored destination of Taiwanese travelers, and that was especially the case after the travel industry in Asia rebounded in 2023 following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in late 2022.

A total of 4.23 million Taiwanese visited Japan in 2023, compared to 1.76 million Taiwanese visiting China, the second most popular destination, according to Taiwan outbound traveler statistics.

While Taiwan ranked as the largest foreign spender as a whole in Japan in 2023, visitors from Australia took the top spot in average spending at 341,000 yen, followed by Spain (336,000 yen), and Italy (334,000 yen), the Japan Tourism Agency said.

In 2023, foreign visitors spent 1.83 trillion yen in lodging in Japan, accounting for 34.6 percent of the total spending, ahead of 1.40 trillion yen in shopping (26.5 percent) and about 1.2 trillion in dining (22.5 percent), according to the agency.

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