Govt. report: Boost needed in rural tourism
NHK -- May 31
A record number of foreign tourists visited Japan last year, but they stayed mainly in big cities. Government officials now plan to boost inbound tourism further by attracting more travelers into the countryside.

The annual White Paper on Tourism shows Japan received 24 million foreign visitors in 2016.

Nearly 60 percent of them spent their time in popular sightseeing destinations such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.

Officials say that to reach their target of 40 million tourists by 2020, they need to draw more people to rural areas.

The report details efforts being made by local governments.

Nikko City, north of Tokyo, has been converting hotel rooms used for group tours to better meet the needs of independent travelers from abroad.

News source: NHK
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