Osaka considers fixed fee for foreign visitors to mitigate overtourism

Osaka expects to welcome 20 million foreign visitors a year after the opening of its IR.
Osaka expects to welcome 20 million foreign visitors a year after the opening of its IR.

The fee could be implemented for the 2025 World Expo.

Japan.- Osaka Prefecture is exploring the possibility of implementing a fixed fee for foreign visitors to address concerns related to overtourism. Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura has suggested that the fee collection could coincide with the start of the 2025 World Exposition.

The fee would generate funds for initiatives aimed at managing overtourism. Currently, there are no such specific taxation schemes on tourists in place, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. According to Kyodo News, governor Yoshimura emphasised the importance of ensuring a balance between tourism promotion and the preservation of local communities. 

Osaka Prefecture is set to establish a panel to discuss the proposal in April. Implementation of such a system would require approval from the internal affairs minister.

Currently, the prefecture imposes an accommodation tax of JPY100 (US$0.67) to JPY300 (US$2) on room fees of JPY7,000 (US$47) or more per night whether guests are Japanese or foreigners. A similar fixed fee amount was recommended by Yoshimura.

Osaka city mayor Hideyuki Yokoyama previously said he hopes for 20 million foreign visitors annually after the Osaka integrated resort opens, possibly in autumn 2030. MGM Resorts has partnered with Orix Corp, a Japanese company, for the resort and casino. It was expected to cost JPY1.08tn (US$8.38bn). However, the initial investment is expected to rise by JPY190bn (US$1.29bn).

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