Japan lacking the extra edge in the tourism industry

By | October 14, 2019

In terms of tourism-related revenue, Japan is faring far worse than South Korea from the repercussions of their deteriorating bilateral relations, according to a report released here on Oct. 7.

The number of South Koreans who visited Japan in July and August dropped down to 870,000, a year-on-year drop of 27 percent, according to the report by the Korea Economic Research Institute, a part of the Federation of Korean Industries, the country’s most powerful business area. The institute predicted that Japan’s revenue loss from that acute decline totaled 31.5 billion yen. Specifically, the hotel industry in Japan lost 10.6 billion yen in revenue over the period if a year, the restaurant and service industry saw a decrease of 9 billion yen, and that of the retail industry was 6.8 billion yen. The reduced number of South Korean tourists also impacted summer employment in Japan. Overall, the number of Japanese working in the tourism industry fell by 2,589, compared with the same period last year. The retail industry cut down 890 jobs, the restaurant and service industry released 887 workers, and the hotel industry reduced its workforce by 588, according to the institute’s report. The summer employment in Japan was affected by the reduced number of South Korean tourists

Despite the increase, the South Korean tourism industry suffered a holdback estimated at 3.5 billion yen, mainly because of the loss in passengers for South Korean carriers’ routes to Japan, the report said. When asked why the bilateral dispute did not negatively affect Japanese tourist numbers, an official with a South Korean tourism agency said Japanese is ethically less inclined than South Koreans to cancel their reservations. However, the institute said a further stretch in diplomatic relations could prompt Japanese tourists to stay away from South Korea.