- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 11th December 2015
- china, japan, shopping, tourism
The term bakugai, which refers to ‘explosively shopping’ in Japanese, has become Japan’s buzzword of the year. This reflects the impact of incoming Chinese tourists upon the Japanese tourism industry. Since the year 2014, Chinese tourists have been pouring into Japan and brought with them lucrative opportunities for the Japanese economy. Nowadays, China has already become the biggest source of foreign tourists in Japan, which was mentioned and illustrated in our blog on 4. December.
During the cherry blossom season last year, Chinese tourists spent a total of EUR 1 billion. And in the second quarter of this year, their expenditure rose to EUR 2.6 billion, which recorded a more than 100% growth. Among all the expenditures of Chinese visitors, accommodation and shopping occupy the biggest part. Due to the distrust of the quality of local goods in China, Chinese customers who are affluent and pay more attention to the quality have started to ‘choose with their feet’, thus going shopping in Japan, where the quality of the goods has a better reputation. Furthermore, services in Japan has also appeal to many Chinese customers, who wish to gain pleasant experiences while shopping.
However, not all shopping experiences in Japan turn out to be positive. Many Chinese tourists have found out that the goods they brought back from Japan were actually ‘made in China’. Still, many stated that the products which were produced in China but sold in Japan were nonetheless more trustworthy, due to the strict quality controls in Japan.
Japan is not the only country which faces this considerable growth of visits from China. European countries are also getting themselves prepared for more Chinese customers, who expect to lay their hands on the luxurious goods of Europe. With a steadily growing middle class, more Chinese customers can afford to travel abroad and they have shifted their preference from price to quality and experience, which are the advantages of Europe and Japan. As the number of middle class in China is still estimated to grow, it is reasonable to believe that this trend of Chinese tourists ‘explosively shopping’ abroad will keep growing in the coming years.