Japan Wants to Hike Tourist Prices Due to Overcrowding

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With the Yen weakening, Japan has become a hot travel destination. However, the influx of tourists is starting to cause problems, prompting discussions about implementing special prices for visitors.

According to the Bangkok Post on Thursday (June 20), complaints about overcrowding and bad tourist behavior are on the rise in Japan. In response, some communities are considering strategic pricing policies.

One approach under consideration is charging tourists higher fees without losing revenue. For example, the mayor of Himeji, a city in western Japan, wants to charge foreign tourists six times more than locals at Himeji Castle, a 400-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site and city icon.

Under this plan, international visitors would pay around USD 30 to visit Himeji Castle, while locals would only be charged USD 5.

Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura supports this idea and wants to implement similar pricing at Osaka Castle.

Charging different prices for tourists is not new in Asia, where income per capita is lower. For instance, at the Taj Mahal in India, tourists pay 20 times more than local residents.

Besides pricing strategies, some regions in Japan are adopting other measures. Kyoto, for example, has banned tourists from entering parts of the geisha district in Gion. Meanwhile, Fujikawaguchiko has installed barriers to prevent tourists from gathering in front of convenience stores to snap photos of the iconic Mount Fuji.

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