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Japan's tourism industry expected to fully recover in 2012

March 07, 2012|By Hugo Martin | Los Angeles Times
  • Tokyo's Haneda Airport should see a more normal level of activity in 2012.
Tokyo's Haneda Airport should see a more normal level of activity… (Credit: Randi Lynn Beach…)

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Only days before the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, a report by a global travel trade group predicted that Japan's tourism industry will make a full recovery in 2012.

The World Travel and Tourism Council issued a report Wednesday, predicting that international tourism will generate $129 billion in spending in Japan in 2012, compared with $128.5 billion generated in 2010.

The earthquake, which struck March 11, 2011, triggered a tsunami and ensuing panic over damage to a key nuclear power plant in Japan. Tourism spending on the island country dropped by 62% in April and fell by 3.9% for the entire year, according to the tourism council.

"Japan's travel and tourism recovery has been much better than anyone could have anticipated 12 months ago," said David Scowsill, president of the trade group. "With help of a forceful marketing strategy, Japan is open and ready for business."

For the record, 5:45 p.m., March 9: A previous version of this story said that Japan's Tourism Agency sought to boost tourism by giving free airfare to travelers to visit the country. In fact, the Japanese government rejected funding for that promotion and the tickets were never awarded.


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Japan tries to bring back tourism after it plummets

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