VisitBritain said it was expecting 270,000, a rise of 9% over 2017.
Spending by Japanese visitors is expected to reach £285 million, up from £250 million two years ago. Visitors from Japan spent, on average, £1,011 per visit in the UK in 2017, compared to the all market average of £625.
Nationals from Japan will be able to use ePassport gates to enter the UK from summer 2019 as part of the government’s commitment to develop a new global immigration system as Britain leaves the EU. Electronic passport gates, which are currently available only for British and EU nationals, provide a faster route through the border as they allow eligible passengers to be processed more quickly. The growing number of flights to Japan, including BA’s new Osaka route due to launch in
April, is also expected to boost visitor numbers.
ABTA will strengthen travel trade ties with Japan when it holds its annual convention in Tokyo later this year.