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Tourism Trends by Region and Impact of Go To Travel Campaign

Local tourism contributes to recovery, but situation remains severe.

October 16, 2020

Yutaro Suzuki

Summary

◆The coronavirus crisis had a major impact on the accommodations and tourism related industries. Due to the issuance of the declaration of emergency and self-restraint practiced in regard to travel between prefectures, the number of guests in May fell sharply by -84.1% in contrast to 2019. Although it has been on the increase on a month-to-month basis since June, the recovery is moderate.

◆If we analyze the factors behind the recovery in the number of guests since June by place of residence, we find that in some prefectures such as Fukushima and Tochigi, the increase in demand for local tourism, in which residents travel within their own prefecture, contributed to the improvement. Many municipalities have launched their own measures to stimulate demand by moving ahead of schedule in response to governmental Go To Travel Campaign. In addition to the campaign, it is believed that the demand for accommodations within the prefecture was stimulated by the effects of these local measures.

◆Estimated economic benefits of the Go To Travel Campaign is expected to total ¥3.0 trillion in terms of direct benefits and ¥1.9 trillion in indirect benefits. The campaign has also raised recurring profits by ¥3.4 trillion, resulting in an employment inducement effect of 460,000 workers.

◆In considering future demand for tourism, the recovery in demand on the part of tourists from outside the prefecture, which accounts for the major portion of the guests, will play a key role. Meanwhile, looking forward to a time in the future when COVID-19 has been brought under control, it is necessary to speed up development of an environment conducive to accepting foreign tourists. Efforts of this sort are lagging, particularly in rural areas.

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