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International Visitor Survey

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Last Update : 2019/7/30

On this page, you will find the number of international visitors to Japan and the number of Japanese travelers abroad.

Overview of the International Visitor Survey (IVS)

IVS estimates consumption by international visitors to Japan.

1. Purpose of IVS

IVS is aimed at obtaining baseline information for designing and evaluating measures to attract foreign tourists by assessing trends in consumption by international visitors to Japan. IVS is made up of three quarterly surveys for different purposes:

A: National Survey: Designed to characterize international visitors to Japan as a whole by their attributes as well as by what they did and how – and how much – they spent in Japan.
B1: Regional Survey: Designed to characterize international visitors to each prefecture in Japan by their attributes as well as by what they did and how – and how much – they spent in Japan.
B2: Cruise Survey: Designed to characterize international visitors to Japan with landing permission for cruise ship tourists by their attributes as well as by what they did and how – and how much – they spent in Japan.

2. Target of IVS

1. Surveyees
International visitors to Japan who are leaving the country excluding transit passengers, crew members, and those who have stayed in Japan for a year or more.

2. Sample Size
IVS is conducted with targeted number of samples set at 34,964 in total for each quarter (7,830 samples for A: National Survey; 26,174 samples for B1: Regional Survey; and 960 samples for B2: Cruise Survey) (an annual total of 139,856 samples).

3. Major survey items

The respondents’ attributes (nationality, gender, age, etc.), purpose of visit to Japan, the amount of consumption, etc.

*IVS comes with an opinion survey of international visitors to Japan that focuses on, among other things, the level of satisfaction with their visits to Japan.

4. When IVS Results Are Released

First and secondary preliminary results are released at the end of the first and fourth months following the survey period, respectively. Final annual aggregates are out at the end of March the following year.

5. Method of IVS

1. Survey Spots
A1 National Survey: 17 air/sea ports (New Chitose Airport, Hakodate Airport, Sendai Airport, Tokyo International Airport, Narita International Airport, Shizuoka Airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport, Komatsu Airport, Kansai International Airport, Hiroshima Airport, Takamatsu Airport, Fukuoka Airport, Kagoshima Airport, Naha Airport, Kanmon Port (Shimonoseki), Hakata Port, Izuhara Port)
B1 Regional Survey: 25 air/sea ports (New Chitose Airport, Hakodate Airport, Aomori Airport, Sendai Airport, Ibaraki Airport, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport), Narita International Airport, Toyama Airport, Komatsu Airport, Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport, Kansai International Airport, Okayama Airport, Hiroshima Airport, Yonago Airport, Takamatsu Airport, Fukuoka Airport, Saga Airport, Miyazaki Airport, Kagoshima Airport, Naha Airport, Sakai Port, Kanmon (Shimonoseki) Port, Hakata Port, Izuhara Port)
B2 Cruise Survey: Three seaports (Hakata Port, Nagasaki Port, Naha Port)

2. Survey Periods
Quarterly (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December)
* IVS started in the April-June quarter of 2010.

3. Survey Implementation
In IVS, surveyors approach international visitors to Japan who are in the departure lobbies at the air/sea ports and about to return to their home country. They ask these visitors to reply to a set of questions while showing a tablet- or paper-based questionnaire in an interview style (in which the answers are recorded by the interviewer).

4. The Flow of IVS
Japan Tourism Agency <--> Contractor (private or otherwise) <--> Surveyors <--> Surveyees
Implementation System and Flow of Compilation Work
* The 2018 IVS was contracted out to Survey Research Center Co., Ltd.
* IVS: Outline and Notes (from January-March 2018)
* Frequently Asked Questions

Result and Analyses of the Survey

Inquiries Regarding This Page
Tourism Economy Statistical Research Office, Tourism Strategy Division, Japan Tourism Agency