Visits to Japan from Chinese tourists rose 82 percent in 2014

The shopping district of Shibuya,Tokyo

A falling yen and relaxed visa restrictions have helped boost Japan’s popularity among the 2.2 million Chinese tourists who visited the country in 2014, marking a whopping 82 percent increase over the previous year.

According to the Institute of International Tourism Development, the yen dropped by 20 percent against the renminbi in 2013, and another 10 to 12 percent in 2014, reported the English-language version of the state-run China News Service, ecns.cn.

That translated to growing interest in travel to Japan among mobile and affluent Chinese tourists, who saw a 20 to 30 percent savings on purchases made in Japan.

“The spending power of Chinese tourists is growing,” said Jiang Yiyi, Vice Director of the Institute of International Tourism Development.

The record-breaking number of Chinese tourists make China the third-highest source of travelers to Japan.

Likewise, Japan has extended multiple-entry visas for wealthy Chinese visitors from three to five years.

In contrast to single-entry visas, the multiple-entry visa allows for limitless visits to the country during the validity period.

Last year, the country also extended its duty-free range to cosmetics and foodstuffs, for a savings of 8 percent sales tax.

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