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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tourism bounces back in disaster-struck Japan

Japan’s tourism industry has defied even the most optimistic forecasts, as it rebounded strongly in the second half of 2011. According to a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the total negative impact of the earthquake and tsunami on the industry’s GDP contribution will be roughly JPY700 billion (£5.78bn), which is well below earlier impact estimates which put costs between £7.4bn and £12.7bn.

“Nine months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit northeast Japan, the country’s tourism industry has exceeded even the most optimistic forecasts and is well on the way to recovery,” said David Scowsill, president and CEO of the WTTC.

A December update of the report ‘The Tohoku Pacific Earthquake and Tsunami: Impact on Travel & Tourism”, showed that domestic tourism is now back to pre-March 2011 levels and driving the recovery due to its dominance over inbound tourism as a revenue generator. Inbound travel has yet to fully recover however, and foreign visitor arrivals are expected to be around 25% lower than in 2010 and will recover by early 2012, according to the WTTC.
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