The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in its recent report update called “Tohoku Pacific Earthquake and Tsunami: Impact on Travel & Tourism – Update December 2011” shows Japan’s tourism industry has rebounded robustly and more swiftly than expected on the second half of 2011.
The WTTC has previously released two reports after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The first report was presented in the Global Summit in Las Vegas in May 2011 which offered possible scenarios for impact in the wake of the March disaster and a range in reduction of tourism’s contribution to the GDP in 2011. The following report in September showed that the reduction was leaning towards the lower range or at the low impact scenario.
With the recent report update in December 2011, figures indicated that tourism in Japan both inbound and domestic is back to levels before the March 11 disaster which suggests that it is on its way to full recovery.
While 2011 may still pose negative figures on Japan’s tourism, the trend of recovery that has been shown in the December update would imply that the impact of the March 11 disaster would no longer have a carry-over effect in 2012. The rebound in Japan’s tourism is said to be attributed to the intensified reconstruction efforts of the government as well as the continuing rise of the yen.
Number of foreign visitors is expected to fully pick up in early 2012 with 2011 data registering 25% drop from 2010.
Japan will present a ‘one year after report’ in March 2012- the anniversary of the massive quake and tsunami that hit northeastern part of Japan and ensued a nuclear disaster that has become the world’s worst since the 1986 Chernobyl.