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Pandemic Shock and Services in Japan: Exploring the Reasons for Changes in Regional Tourism Demand

Pandemic Shock and Services in Japan: Exploring the Reasons for Changes in Regional Tourism Demand
7 May 2024
Yoko Konishi
Tourism, COVID-19, SMEs, Tourism Demand, Japan

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Tourism was one of the sectors most damaged by COVID-19. The number of inbound tourists plummeted, and domestic travellers were forced to refrain from traveling for long periods due to the number of infections. This paper analyses the impact of policies (e.g. the ‘Go To Travel’ campaign) on tourism demand and the number of infected people on changes to business conditions at small and medium-sized lodging facilities by prefecture. We found that tourism policies increased demand for popular tourist destinations, but infections subsequently expanded, lowering business confidence. In addition, when the number of infected people was high at the time of the policy, as is the case in Okinawa and Hokkaido, business confidence did not recover. It was also found that inbound tourists stayed in all parts of Japan before the pandemic, but they were concentrated in large cities with airports during the pandemic.

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