Overnight stays at accommodation facilities in Japan by Japanese and foreign travelers rose 31.8 percent in 2023 from the previous year to 593.51 million, nearly the same as pre-COVID-19 levels from 2019, government data showed Wednesday.

Looking at the data only for foreigners, stays at hotels and Japanese inns, among others, increased about seven-fold amid a revived tourism boom helped by a weaker yen and the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

The overall result compares with 595.92 million recorded in 2019, according to the Japan Tourism Association.

The preliminary data also showed a tendency for longer-term stays by foreign visitors at 10.2 nights on average.

The Japanese government ended border control measures related to the coronavirus pandemic in April 2023. It downgraded the legal status of the virus to that of common infectious diseases, such as seasonal influenza, the following month.

Overnight stays by foreigners increased to 114.18 million last year from 16.50 million in 2022, while those by Japanese nationals stood at 479.33 million, up 10.5 percent.

The return of inbound tourists was also shown in the figure in December alone, with 12.14 million stays by foreigners logged at accommodation facilities, up 32.2 percent from the same month in 2019.

Overnight stays by Japanese people in December also rose 3.7 percent to 39.35 million, according to the data.

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