Hokkaido reaches record tourism figures

Hokkaido tourism integrated resort

Hokkaido expects to attract 5 million foreigners in 2020. (Credits: easyvoyage.co.uk)

During 2017, the prefecture registered 56.1 million visitors to the region, a 3% improvement over the previous fiscal year.

Japan.- While Japan continues to debate where to develop the casino industry, several jurisdictions continue to build their cases in order to win an integrated resort (IR) bid. Hokkaido has recently revealed it has a strong case as it reached a record number of tourists visiting the area in the fiscal year 2017, as it registered 56.1 million visitors, 3% more than the previous period.

Despite the record figure, authorities are not so optimistic that they will continue growing, as 84% of the tourists in Hokkaido came from within the prefecture itself. That’s why the declining population in the area is set to negatively impact tourism numbers in the future.

However, foreign tourists are expected to arrive in Hokkaido in greater numbers in the future. During fiscal year 2017, 2.8 million visited the prefecture and, according to official information, 24% originated from mainland China.

Though it’s not very positive on how it may hold the tourism growth, authorities have set a goal of attracting 5 million foreign tourists by 2020 as they develop infrastructure to make the area more appealing for visitors.