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2013年8月19日 (月)

外国人旅行客 日本の魅力高める知恵絞れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 19, 2013
Public, private sectors should do more to attract foreign tourists
外国人旅行客 日本の魅力高める知恵絞れ(8月18日付・読売社説)

A record number of foreign tourists are visiting Japan. We hope both the public and private sectors take measures to better accommodate them and give the nation’s economy a boost.
 日本を訪れる外国人旅行者数が過去最高のペースで増えている。官民で受け入れ体制の充実を図り、日本の景気回復にも弾みをつけたい。

The number of foreign visitors increased by about 23 percent to about 4.96 million in the first half of this year, compared to the January-June period last year, a record high for a half-year period.
 2013年上期(1~6月)の来日客数は、前年同期比で約23%増の約496万人に上り、半期としては最多となった。

In recent years, the number of foreign tourists has remained around 6 million to 8 million. The government aims to increase the number to 10 million as part of its growth strategy. If the pace of tourism in the first half of the year continues, the number likely will reach this target for the first time ever.
 最近、来日客数は年600万~800万人台で推移してきたが、政府は成長戦略の一環として、1000万人に増やす目標を掲げる。今のペースが続くと、初めて大台を達成する可能性が高い。

A breakdown of data for the first half of the year shows about 1.32 million South Korean tourists—the largest number—visited Japan, followed by about 1.03 million from Taiwan and about 540,000 from China.
 今年上半期の内訳をみると、トップは韓国の約132万人だった。台湾が約103万人、中国が約54万人で続いた。

In terms of the rate of increase compared to the same period a year earlier, the number of tourists from Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia each jumped by more than 50 percent. Tourists from the United States and Europe also increased. In contrast, the number of Chinese tourists fell by 27 percent, probably because of a deterioration in Japan-China relations.
 前年同期比の伸び率では、タイ、ベトナム、インドネシアからの来日客数が50%超と急増したほか、欧米も増えた。対照的に、中国が27%減ったのは、日中関係悪化の影響とみられる。

The primary reason for the increase in the overall number of foreign tourists is the yen’s depreciation, which reduces the cost of travel. It also is apparent that foreign tourism has been recovering after sharply declining due to fears of radiation in the wake of the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
 外国からの来日客数が全体として増加した主因は、円安で日本旅行に割安感が強まったためだ。原子力発電所事故後の風評被害で一時落ち込んだ日本への旅行客が回復してきた事情もうかがえる。

To further increase the number of foreign tourists, the public and private sectors must join hands and use their ingenuity to enhance the appeal of this country.
 来日客をさらに増やすには、官民で連携し、日本の魅力を高める知恵を絞る必要があろう。

Target Southeast Asia

The key in this regard is to target tourists from Southeast Asian countries, where overseas travel has become increasingly popular due to their growing economies.
 そのカギを握るのは、経済成長で海外旅行に人気が集まる東南アジア諸国への売り込みである。

From this summer, the government has exempted Thai and Malaysian tourists from the need to obtain visas. We hope the government will consider a range of measures to boost the number of foreign tourists, such as by increasing the number of visa-exempt nations and extending the length of stay from about 10 days in many cases to about a month.
 政府は今夏からタイとマレーシアの観光ビザ(査証)を免除した。ビザ免除国を拡大したり、10日前後認めている例が多い滞在日数を約1か月に延ばしたりするテコ入れ策を検討してもらいたい。

There are many Muslims in Southeast Asia. Efforts should be made to carefully consider these people by, for example, listing restaurants that do not serve alcohol or pork, so that Muslims regard Japan as an attractive destination free from hassle.
 東南アジアにはイスラム教徒が多い。酒や豚肉を使わない飲食店のリストを作るなど、日本を「旅行しやすい魅力的な国」にするきめ細かい対応が求められる。

It also is important to develop package tours to enable travelers from Southeast Asian nations to experience Japan’s natural features that change from season to season, such as life in snowy regions that they would not have experienced in their own countries, as well as cultural assets. Expanding low-cost carriers’ flight routes connecting Japan to other parts of Asia is a major challenge that should be addressed.
 東南アジアでは味わえない雪国の生活を体験する旅など、日本の四季折々の自然や文化に触れる旅行商品の開発も大切だ。アジアと日本を結ぶ格安航空会社(LCC)の路線拡大が課題といえる。

It also is indispensable for Japan to make a greater effort to publicize its tourism attributes around the world.
 日本の観光資源を世界へ発信する一層の努力も欠かせない。

A number of Asian nations have directed their efforts to host international conferences to proudly display their attractiveness.The central government should strengthen its systems to gather information abroad and effectively bid for international events, jointly with local governments and other entities.
 自国の魅力をアピールする場として、アジア各国が国際会議の誘致に力を入れている。日本も政府と自治体などが一体となって、海外での情報収集や誘致活動の体制を強化すべきである。

If more foreign tourists become interested in Japan, this nation would not only spread the popularity of its culture, such as traditional cuisine and anime, but also benefit from increases in overseas sales of Japanese-made products such as home appliances and cars.
 日本に関心を持つ外国人旅行客が増えれば、和食やアニメといった文化の普及に加え、家電、自動車など日本製品の販売を海外で伸ばす効果が期待できよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2013)
(2013年8月18日01時43分  読売新聞)

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