Japan Is Adding A New Tourist Departure Tax

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Over time we see countries both add and remove barriers to visiting. On the plus side, we’re seeing more and more countries remove the requirements for visitors to get visas, or in the case of other countries, they’re making it possible to visit at all, when previously that wasn’t the case (like in Angola and Saudi Arabia).

Conversely, we’re seeing more countries and airports add taxes and fees for passengers. I see both sides of it, of course. Countries want to generate as much revenue as possible, and charging each visitor a fee of some sort has the potential to increase revenue a lot. However, studies have also shown that additional airport taxes have an impact on tourism. It might not sound like a lot, but for countries with super cheap airfare and a lot of ultra low cost carriers, a $0 fare different across the board can have a big impact on demand.

Along those lines, Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that Japan will be adding a new departure tax of 1,000 Yen (~10USD) as of January 7, 2019. They anticipate that this will raise an additional 40 billion Yen annually (~370 million USD), which will be used to fund tourism expenses.