Record-Breaking Tourism in Japan with 2.52 Million October Visitors

Record-Breaking Tourism in Japan with 2.52 Million October Visitors

By Author

Published on November 17, 2023

Japan has marked a significant milestone in its tourism sector, with visitor numbers in October reaching 2.52 million, surpassing pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the easing of border restrictions. This surge in arrivals, as reported by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), signifies a full recovery of the tourism industry, with figures now exceeding 100.8% of those seen in 2019.

The rise to 2.52 million visitors in October from 2.18 million in September indicates a robust resurgence in international travel to Japan for both business and leisure purposes. This rebound can be attributed to the relaxation of some of the world’s strictest border measures that Japan had imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic. In October 2022, Japan resumed visa-free travel for many countries and scrapped all remaining travel controls in May.

The recovery in the number of international flights to Japan, reaching 80% of pre-pandemic levels, has been a significant factor in this upswing. Additionally, the yen's weakening has made Japan an attractive bargain destination. The October surge in tourism was bolstered by strong demand from Southeast Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia. Notably, travelers from Canada, Mexico, and Germany reached record highs for any month.

While the number of visitors from mainland China remains 65% below the October 2019 figures, the influx from other nations has helped balance this slow recovery. In 2019, Chinese tourists accounted for nearly a third of all visitors and 40% of tourist spending in Japan.

In the first 10 months of 2023, almost 20 million visitors have arrived in Japan, compared to the record of about 32 million in all of 2019. This resurgence bodes well for Japan's tourism industry, which is steadily regaining its pre-pandemic strength and re-establishing itself as a leading destination in the global travel market.

In related news, Victoria in Australia has seen significant visitation from India, with Visit Victoria's Chief Marketing Officer, Shae Keenan, highlighting India's substantial expenditure in the region. Victoria received 168,000 visitors from India in the year ending June 2023, with spending totaling USD 556 million. Adding to this connectivity, Qantas is set to introduce three additional direct flights per week between Delhi and Melbourne in its winter schedule.

The rebound in Japan's tourism, coupled with enhanced global connectivity, marks an optimistic turn for the travel industry worldwide. As countries like Japan and Australia welcome an increasing number of international visitors, the global tourism landscape continues to show promising signs of recovery and growth.


IndiGo Elevates Travel Experience: Introducing Business Class

IndiGo Elevates Travel Experience: Introducing Business Class

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on May 25, 2024

Get ready to experience travel like never before as IndiGo, India's premier airline, announces its exciting new venture – Business Class services! Amidst the dynamic growth of India's economy, IndiGo is stepping up to redefine premium travel with tailor-made offerings, enhancing the journey for passengers across the nation's busiest routes.

With a fleet of over 360 aircraft and around 2,000 daily flights, IndiGo has been a cornerstone of India's aviation landscape for nearly 18 years. Now, the airline is set to revolutionize business travel with its innovative approach to service.

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"In a groundbreaking move to redefine business travel in India, IndiGo announces the plan to launch a tailor-made business product for India’s busiest and business routes," says Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo. "As India gears up to become the third largest economy in the world, it's our privilege to provide the New India even more options to choose from as they travel business."

The new Business Class service will offer a desired option for many passengers, catering to their evolving aspirations. Set to be operational before the end of the year, the service will be available on the busiest routes of the nation, providing a seamless blend of comfort and convenience for travelers.

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Detailed information about the product offering, launch date, and routes will be unveiled in August, coinciding with IndiGo’s 18th anniversary. This milestone marks a significant step in the airline's evolution, reflecting its commitment to innovation and excellence in service.

As IndiGo continues to grow and adapt to the changing needs of passengers, the introduction of Business Class is another testament to its dedication to providing exceptional travel experiences. Stay tuned for more updates as IndiGo transforms the way we fly, one journey at a time.


Jordan Tourism Board Launches New Brand Film Tailored for Indian Travelers

Jordan Tourism Board Launches New Brand Film Tailored for Indian Travelers

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 24, 2024

The Jordan Tourism Board has unveiled a new brand film crafted specifically for the Indian market, encapsulating the stunning beauty and rich cultural tapestry of Jordan. Featuring Bollywood elements and led by popular Indian influencers Aakriti Rana Gill and Shaurya Sandhya Tulshyan, the film aims to draw Indian adventurers to the mesmerizing landscapes and historical wonders of Jordan.

Set against the backdrop of iconic locations like the ancient city of Petra and the vibrant capital, Amman, the film merges traditional Jordanian visuals with a Bollywood flair to create a relatable and enthralling experience for Indian viewers. The influencers guide viewers through a series of adventures, from exploring the majestic ruins of Petra to the modern streets of Amman, highlighting the diverse attractions Jordan has to offer.

The film also promotes the convenience of travel for Indian tourists, emphasizing the visa-on-arrival facility available for Indian passport holders. It showcases a range of activities including historical exploration, culinary journeys, and thrilling adventures in Wadi Rum and Aqaba.

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Accompanied by the soulful tune “Zahir” by Indian artist Akanksha Sethi, the film not only showcases the scenic beauty of Jordan but also its cultural resonance with Indian traditions. The inclusion of local dining experiences and unique accommodations, like Martian tents in Wadi Rum, promises a blend of excitement and comfort tailored to Indian tastes.

This strategic initiative by the Jordan Tourism Board is designed to enhance its visibility and appeal in the Indian market, encouraging more travelers to explore the rich heritage and natural beauty of Jordan. The film concludes by inviting viewers to experience the timeless allure of Jordan, positioning it as a top destination for Indian travelers seeking a blend of adventure, history, and cultural immersion.


EU Announces Increase in Schengen Visa Fees by 12% Starting June 2024

EU Announces Increase in Schengen Visa Fees by 12% Starting June 2024

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 23, 2024

The European Union has confirmed a 12% hike in the fees for Schengen visas, a change set to take effect on June 11, 2024. This increase adjusts the cost from EUR 80 to EUR 90 for adults and from EUR 40 to EUR 45 for children aged six to twelve. The revision, part of a routine assessment conducted every three years, reflects ongoing economic factors including inflation and the salaries of civil servants. Notably, countries not cooperating on the readmission of citizens may see fees surge to EUR 135 or even EUR 180.

This fee adjustment was decided after a review in December 2023 under the Schengen Visa Code, which governs the framework of EU visa charges. The last modification occurred in February 2020, marking a significant rise from EUR 60 to EUR 80. The decision, however, has sparked discontent among various groups, particularly Turkish citizens, who have been anticipating a visa-free agreement with the EU.

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In 2023, the Schengen area, which comprises 29 European countries, received over 10.3 million short-stay visa applications. This figure represents a 37% increase from the previous year, although it still does not match the pre-pandemic peak of 17 million applications in 2019. Indian nationals, showing a significant interest in European destinations, contributed to this volume with 966,687 visa applications, ranking third after China and Turkey.

The surge in applications has led to logistical challenges, including a shortage of available slots for visa interviews, affecting travel plans for many. To alleviate some of these issues, the European Commission has introduced a new visa "cascade" system for Indian nationals, facilitating easier access to multi-entry visas with longer validity periods, enhancing the travel experience for frequent visitors to the Schengen zone.

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