Tokyo 2020 Legacy May Have Some Constructive Affect On Japanese Tourism
The positive aspects of Tokyo 2020’s tourist legacy will not provide a quick fix for the amount of investment lost due to lack of international visits and limited domestic visits.
- Tokyo 2020 offers Japan long-term benefits.
- Tokyo 2020 will help the nation create a more robust and diverse tourism product for years to come.
- Japan will be in a prime position to meet recurring domestic and international demand after the Olympics.
Many will perceive Tokyo 2020’s tourist legacy as overwhelmingly negative as it happens during a pandemic and its associated side effects. Still, there are some positive aspects to be seen in looking at the future of Japanese tourism.
The positive aspects of Tokyo 2020’s tourist legacy will not provide a quick fix for the amount of investment lost due to lack of international visits and limited domestic visits. However, it does offer long-term benefits to Japan and will help the nation create a more robust and diverse tourism product for years to come.
New tourism-related infrastructure will increase productivity, capacity and attractiveness
Improved transportation links for the Olympics, such as the new Yamanote Line Station in Tokyo, will reduce congestion for Japanese residents and help improve the efficiency of domestic business travel in the future and increase the productive capacity of the Japanese economy.
In addition, the expansion of Terminal 2 at Haneda Airport was carried out in part to create capacity for the increase in international visitor numbers that would have been created by the Olympic Games. Terminal 2 was previously only domestic. However, part of its terminal has been rebuilt and expanded to accommodate international gates. In 2020, ANA unveiled three brand new lounges when the company moved most of its international operations to Terminal 2.
This move by Japan’s largest airline shows how this expansion, mainly done for the Olympics, will benefit incoming tourism in the years to come by adding more capacity and brand new lounges, increasing tourism spending and improving the tourist experience becomes.
The number of domestic pre-pandemic visits to Japan is expected to remain until 2022, then growth is expected to increase from 2021 to 2024 at an annual average growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%. The number of incoming visits is expected by 2024, significantly later than domestic tourism. However, the number of inbound arrivals is likely to increase after 2024 and improved destination attractiveness along with the capacity will be required to accommodate future growth in international markets. With these improvements for the Olympics already completed, Japan will be in a prime position to capture recurring domestic but above all international demand after the Olympics.
The development of world class sports facilities for future events
Japan now has a number of modern world-class sports facilities to host future sporting events, meaning that losses from the Olympics could be saved in the future. In bidding for future events, Japan’s argument is now strengthened with these new facilities. These bids can either be in the form of other high-profile multisport events or in the form of individual sporting events. Regardless of the type of sporting event, Japan can now position itself as a major destination for sporting event tourism and sport participation tourism.