June 19, 2017 – After the devaluation of the yen in 2015, the Japanese currency strengthened in 2016, making most of the world cheaper for outbound Japanese tourists. At the same time, foreign travel to Japan reached record levels2 despite becoming less affordable for many tourists.
Top-trending summer travel destinations in Japan
Top-Trending Travel Destinations1
So where are the tourists flocking to in Japan? Surprisingly, the famous capital is not at the top of the list of trending destinations, according to Visa International Travel (VISIT), a proprietary Visa data source. With Yokohama ranked first, followed by Nagoya and Okinawa, international travelers appear eager to discover Japan beyond Tokyo (ranked fifth)—the country’s high-speed rail network is likely helping to encourage travel off the beaten path.
1 The list of top trending destinations is based on growth in arrivals in summer 2016.
2 Japan Tourism Agency
Sources: Visa Business and Economic Insights; VISIT database; Haver Analytics
Visa International Travel (VISIT) database is a proprietary model that combines Visa's cardholder data with publicly-available cross-border arrival statistics. The database provides a comprehensive view into high-frequency cross-border travel flows, currently encompassing the top 82 origin and destination countries,* which collectively account for more than 80 percent of global travel.
VISIT combines unique counts of Visa cardholders that register a face-to-face transaction at a merchant outside their home country in a given calendar month with other transaction data such as average spend per cardholder, card usage patterns at lodging merchants and others. Visa uses this data to econometrically model official arrival statistics compiled by various government sources and to generate estimates that fill in the large gaps existing in the cross-border travel data.
* Based on information from the United Nations.