Pent-up Travel Demand to Japan Surges

  • By Sung Ho-chul

    September 26, 2022 11:09

    Koreans are getting excited to travel again as Japan eases draconian travel restrictions next month.
    Japan last week announced that it will lift coronavirus restrictions on Oct. 11 to revive the tourism industry. That means foreign visitors can once again stay for up to 90 days visa-free while the daily limit on visitors and ban on independent travelers will be lifted.
    Until then, the island country caps daily visitor numbers at 50,000 and only allows in guided tour groups with visas.
    A woman looks at travel brochures at a Japanese tourism office in Seoul on Sept. 23. /Newsis
    In 2019, around 5.58 million Koreans visited Japan, making it the most popular destination for Korean tourists. But lockdown reduced the number to some 480,000 in 2020 and a mere 18,000 in 2021.
    Tokyo's announcement unleashed massive pent-up demand here. At Korea's biggest travel agency Hana Tour, bookings to Japan surged 800 percent and at its closest competitor Mode Tour 2,400 percent over the weekend.
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