US tourism to Canada, Japan increases as travel ban endures

Written by By Julia Dunlap, CNN Many countries have grappled with an influx of US visitors since the first set of travel restrictions were reinstated in January. But some of the country’s holiday-obsessed visitors…

US tourism to Canada, Japan increases as travel ban endures

Written by By Julia Dunlap, CNN

Many countries have grappled with an influx of US visitors since the first set of travel restrictions were reinstated in January. But some of the country’s holiday-obsessed visitors are returning the favor — and have big plans to do so in the future.

Since the current restrictions were reintroduced, nearly 1.5 million American tourists have reportedly chosen to visit a foreign country instead. A chunk of that number has come from some of the US’ largest markets, including China, Japan and South Korea.

But tourists in those countries represent a small portion of the total count, and travelers from Canada are staying put too.

Canada and the US have been able to coexist relatively peacefully since January after Trump’s controversial travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries was rescinded in March.

According to the International Air Transport Association , Canadian, Chinese and Brazilian tourists were among the handful of exceptions from the restrictive measures. But considering the significant number of domestic travelers trying to get to the US, they would be unwise to get too attached.

High above the US

That may be especially true for Canadians.

A survey released this week found that 37% of Canadians intend to go to the US this year, up from the 30% of US tourists who made that same claim in a February survey from American Express.

Canada isn’t the only country a visit to the US has come with.

Japan

Net Inbound Tourism

Source: Okayama Tourism Research Center

While Canada still has a considerable lead over Japan when it comes to US tourism, according to data from the Okayama Tourism Research Center, that gap is narrowing.

Last year saw a 4.6% increase from the US to Japan when compared to 2016. Some of the largest jump in Japanese tourists last year came from those born outside of Japan.

Both countries will likely benefit from their proximity. According to a study published in 2017 by the Yokohama City Government, Japanese tourists in Japan “suffer from the chronic lack of U.S. infrastructure in terms of information about U.S. cities and tourist information.”

However, it’s possible that the resurgence of anti-immigrant rhetoric in America will serve as a barrier to increased tourism from Japan.

Japan is one of a few countries that Trump hasn’t called names in reference to — and has called to renegotiate the trade deal that has sent U.S. goods flowing into Japan. The partnership could help pave the way for tourism growth from the country.

More than 75 million Japanese tourists visit the US every year, spending around US$27 billion, making them one of the country’s top trade partners.

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