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Sunday, October 11, 2015, 10:33

Chinese tourists spend over $830m in Japan during Golden Week

By Agencies
Chinese tourists spend over $830m in Japan during Golden Week
Chinese tou rists hold their shoppings in Shinjuku shopping district during the China National Day Golden Week holiday on October 5, 2015, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo / IC)

Around 400,000 tourists from the Chinese mainland visited Japan and spent nearly 100 billion yen, or around $830 million in shopping during the National Day holiday week from Oct 1-7.

Popularly known as the Golden Week, this marks a peak in travel for Chinese tourists.

Chinese customers queued up at Japanese malls to buy goods like facial masks and medical drugs. Many stores even had to put a limit on the quantity that each customer could purchase, fearing they would run out of stocks.

The spending spree by Chinese tourists have boosted the Japanese economy by around 0.1%, a 20-year high, according to Global Blue, an international company that handles tax refunds for international shoppers.

The more popular goods that Chinese tourists scramble for included toilet seats, medical drugs, and household items like thermoses, shavers and luxury goods. Medical tourism in Japan has also become a new growth sector.

Data from the Nationwide Tourist Group Services Management System shows that outbound tourists (except those heading to Hong Kong) grew by 36.6 percent year-on-year in the first four days of the week-long holiday.

Chinese online travel platform CTrip said Japan was the most popular overseas travel destination for Chinese mainland vacationers during the holiday, followed by Thailand and South Korea. Hong Kong came in fourth place, followed by Macao.

Compared to last year, the number of Chinese tourists going to Japan during the period doubled, according to NTA.

Japan's popularity among Chinese travelers was obvious within the first six months of this year when some 2.18 million Chinese tourists went to Japan, double from the year before.

Cultural affinities, devaluation of the yen and the quality of Japanese goods have been listed as the top attractions for Chinese tourists.

The National Day holiday has become an annual tourism event for Chinese people. The influx of Chinese visitors has been a welcome shot for host economies.

Retailers in Japan, South Korea, and France are becoming more accommodating to Chinese shoppers by introducing Chinese-speaking shopping assistants and welcome signs written in Chinese.

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