A Yen For Japan


Japan’s tourist trade closed out 2014 on a high note, with a lower yen receiving much of the credit from one Asia specialist for the country’s strong performance, reports staff writer, Ian Stalker in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.

The country’s tourist trade has set records in recent months, including from Canada, where November figures were the highest on record, the eighth straight month of record months.

Japan saw 165,214 Canadians in the first 11 months of 2014, more than the 152,766 it hosted in all of 2013. The January-November period saw a 19.5% increase in Canadian visits from the same 11 months in 2013.

Jean Jaques Lefuel of Montreal-based Tours Hai International – which has long offered Japan – says tourism figures are now higher than those of 2010, the year that preceded the devastating tsunami which caused tourism to plummet.

“One of the main reasons for its popularity in recent months is the low yen, trading at almost 100 to one Canadian dollar, much like we had in late 2010,” he says. “Many who could not afford vacations there before now can take advantage of a window of opportunity.”

Akira Tsushima, City of Tokyo Tourism’s Canadian representative, agrees that the current currency exchange rate is making Japan look at lot more attractive and adds the country has recovered from the tsunami and its after effects.

But he also credits “the Japanese way of hospitality” for helping attract tourists and promotions by those involved in the tourist trade as well.

Click here for the full story in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.