The Japanese government announced on November 1st that more than 20 million, tourists have visited Japan since 2011. After the Fukushima Tsunami of 2011, Japan dreamed to attract 20 million tourists.
Since the radiation exposure that occurred as a result of the damage caused by the tsunami, Japan has suffered from an unprecedented economic downturn, human chaos, and much more. The economy of Japan was in great trouble, and the exchange rate fell sharply. The way that the Japanese government chose to solve this problem was to develop natural attractions and attract foreign tourists. This seemed like an impossible reality, but Japan achieved its goal of 20 million, and it is a remarkable that this goal was accomplishment in only five years after the nuclear accident. Initially, the Japanese government set the target year to 2020 for 20 million foreign tourists, but the goal was achieved four years earlier than originally planned.
The Japanese government took into consideration that foreigners would not want to come because of safety concerns after the exposure. So the Japanese government said that Fukushima had been thoroughly controlled and they developed attractions far away from Fukushima. Surprisingly, a few years after the radiation accident, Japan succeeded in recovering the exchange rate and it did not take much time.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Korea in 2015 was about 12 million. Although the Korean Tourism Division has invested a lot of money in tourism, Korea is still sluggish. So how did Japan get 20 million tourists? And what can we learn?
Japan has set up some attractive strategies to attract foreigners to Japan. Japan has attracted foreigners by creating tourist products and package products centered on Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo, the center of sightseeing spots. They also made booths for sightseeing and a variety of experiences. In addition, Japan has attracted a great deal of attention by using natural resources for all cultures to enjoy.
Japan then used a duty-free shop to take advantage of air travel. They lowered the prices of duty-free shops and made profits by using various goods and specialties that could be bought cheaply in the local duty-free shops. In addition, Japan actively promoted duty-free products. This was very successful. When going to the airport, many tourists will stop by at duty free shops and buy lots of popular products in Japan.
In order to boost profits in their duty-free shops, Japan has restructured their infrastructure such as airports and ports. By improving the infrastructure, foreigners will increase because they can receive better services at lower prices. They also introduced a new immigration system that shortens the time of entry check at three airports: Kansai Airport, Naha Airport, and Takamatsu Airport. The system transmits face photographs and fingerprint information collected from the queue to the immigration officer through the network in order. Tourists can enjoy easier and faster travel by reducing the time spent in front of the immigration bureau.
The following are near-country marketing. Japan has been more interested in Korea and China than in distant countries. With the use of low-cost airlines (LCC), the number of people traveling to Japan has increased.
It seems that China and Korea, which are the biggest markets, played a leading role as foreign tourists. According to a report by the Japan Tourism Agency, 520,000 Chinese and 430,000 Koreans visited Japan in September. Koreans and Chinese accounted for almost half of all tourists. From January to September five million Chinese and 3.7 million Koreans visited Japan.
Japan is not satisfied with this. In five countries including India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Russia where the number of tourists has rapidly increased in 2016, visa issuance requirements for tourists have been greatly eased. Currently, Japan is planning to extend the tax exemption system of (8%) provided by major shopping facilities in Japan to cities outside Japan's major cities. They plan to complete 20,000 duty free shops by 2018. Demand for travel to Japan is expected to accelerate.
Japan has succeeded in attracting tourists through these methods. How can our country, Korea, attract tourists? Many experts predict that there will be a prospect of marketing using Korean Wave only. This is a way to make profits by using popular Korean dramas or Korean idols. Just as Japan has made profits from using its own characteristics, we need to find ways to make good use of our strengths. There are many ways to attract tourists. We must think a lot about this problem.