Gov.uk has reported that Japanese tourism to the UK is expected to grow this year to its highest level since 2007, as the two countries continue to strengthen economic and cultural ties.
National tourism agency VisitBritain expects visit numbers from Japan to reach 270,000 in 2019, a nine per cent increase on 2017. Spending by Japanese visitors in the UK is expected to reach £285 million this year, up from £250 million in 2017. Nationals from Japan will be able to use ePassport gates to enter the UK from summer 2019 as part of the government’s commitment to develop a new global immigration system as we leave the EU.
Growing airline connectivity with a new direct, non-stop route from Osaka to London scheduled for April 2019 by British Airways is also expected to boost visitor numbers.
Michael Ellis, UK tourism minister, said: “The UK and Japan have strong cultural, artistic and sporting ties and this is translating into increased visitor numbers to our shores. “Tourism is good for our understanding of each other’s cultures and can help strengthen our economies. With thousands of Brits expected to travel to Japan for the Rugby World Cup this year and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, our continued close relationship will benefit both nations.”
VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said: “Japan is an important market for VisitBritain and we want the UK to be the number one destination in Europe for Japanese visitors, so it is encouraging to see the expected growth this year. “Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry and we continue promote the message of welcome and value, working with partners to make it easier to travel here and promote the amazing experiences that Japanese travellers can only have in Britain.” Japanese perceptions of the UK as a visitor destination are strong.
The UK was Japan’s fifth most popular destination in Europe in 2017. In the first six months of 2018, there were 119,000 visits from Japan to the UK, up 10 per cent on the same period in 2017.
Culture is one of the key attractions for tourists from Japan who enjoy visiting the UK’s museums and art galleries, sightseeing at famous monuments and buildings and visiting castles or historic houses.
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