In Japan and through Asia, tourism is up

April 25, 2013 at 3:19 PM

TOKYO, April 25 (UPI) -- The Japan National Tourism Organization said 857,000 tourists visited Japan in March, a record for the month.

The previous record for visitors in March was 731,600 in 2008, Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday.

The jump in the number of visitors was attributed to a sharply falling yen and pent up demand.

Visits dropped sharply after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that severely damaged a nuclear power plant in northeast of Tokyo.

Tourism for March was up 26.3 percent from the same month of 2012. In addition, the January through March period also set a record with 2.2 million visitors in the three-month period, up 18 percent from the first quarter of 2012.

But tourism has increased throughout Asia. In South Korea, the number of tourists jumped 37.4 percent from March 2012 to March 2013 with 206,900 visitors in March this year.

In Thailand, there were 44,800 visitors in March and in Indonesia there were 13,300. Both of the figures are more than 70 percent higher than March 2012, the newspaper said.

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