Industry Insights

RCI Ventures® Magazine
Destination Profile: Japan
January 24, 2019

The island nation is hosting the 2020 international sporting competition and expecting continued visitor growth

Japan’s growth as a tourist destination is up 4 percent over the past year, according to Japan Tourism Board’s Tourism Research & Consulting Company. And with Tokyo hosting the international sporting competition in 2020, it’s expected that the international exposure leading up to them will ensure its number of visitors continues to increase.

Japan’s steady growth in tourism is attributable to a number of factors, says Isabella Ng, RCI Asia Pacific director of business development for North Asia, including the easing of travel-visa requirements for various countries, such as the Philippines, and the increase in service from low-cost airlines. For instance, Japan Airlines announced earlier this year its plan to debut a low-cost carrier to international markets.

With the competition a little more than a year away, the “Japanese government’s aim is to welcome 40 million tourists” by the time the games begin, Ng says. As a result, “there is continuing potential in providing more offerings to an expanding and diverse group of travelers to Japan.”

As more tourists visit, the cost of land is growing as well. According to Naoki Shimazu, RCI Asia Pacific manager of business development for Japan and Korea, commercial land prices were up, while residential land prices’ decline slowed for the ninth consecutive year. “There is good potential for timeshare in Japan in resort locations,” Shimazu says.

Though the rise in foreign tourism and the attention generated by the games could have an influence on vacation ownership demographics, currently timeshares in Japan are mainly owned by Japanese nationals, Shimazu says. Those owners are typically between 40 and 60 years old, with an annual income of $80,000.

When it comes to international vacationers, one of the obstacles to purchasing in Japan is the language barrier, Ng says. But, she says, “with most of the timeshare resorts in Japan of high quality, Japan will increasingly become an attractive market for timeshare exchange by both a local and international clientele.”

Image credit: iStockphoto