Visitor arrivals in Japan by cruise ship have hit a record high this year of more than 1 million.
The figure was reached after a cruise liner with 3,500 Chinese tourists aboard docked at Hakata port in western Japan on Tuesday.
The number of cruise passengers to Japan has been surging in recent years, with 170,000 in 2013 and 410,000 last year. Tuesday’s total is 2.4 times that of the year before.
More than 1,000 annual port calls have been made across Japan over the past few years and the transport ministry has noted the shortage of ports for large passenger ships.
The operator of one of the world’s biggest cruise ships says it is considering a visit to Japan. The cruise ship is 360 meters long and can accommodate 5,000 people.
But Japanese officials say as of now, there are no ports in the country equipped to receive such a large vessel.
The ministry’s official in charge of cruises, Kentaro Hayashi, says a single port call by a large cruise ship is estimated to bring over 800-thousand dollars to a local economy.
He said in order to generate more such revenue, the government plans to quickly construct expanded berthing facilities.
Source and image: NHK