China’s group tours can boost Japanese travel and retail stocks China’s group tours can boost Japanese travel and retail stocks China’s group tours can boost Japanese travel and retail stocks

China’s group tours can boost Japanese travel and retail stocks

Macro 5 minutes to read
Charu Chanana

Head of FX Strategy

Summary:  China has lifted restrictions on group travel to countries such as Japan, Korea, US and UK. This could boost Japan’s visitor arrivals as China accounted for one-third of inbound tourists to Japan pre-pandemic. Chinese tourists also spent a significant amount on shopping while travelling, which could be boosted further by a weaker Japanese yen.

Last week, China’s tourism ministry announced an immediate lifting of restrictions on group travel to 78 countries. The list included Japan and South Korea, that have been long favourites for Chinese travellers, along with Australia, Germany, the UK and the US. Although individuals have been able to travel recently, with limitations from number of flights and the high prices, group travel had remained banned since January 2020 as a part of the pandemic restrictions.

Japan had inbound tourists of about 3 million per month before Covid-19. Bulk of these tourists have come from China pre-pandemic. Visitor arrivals in Japan started to recover in 2022 as most countries eased pandemic restrictions, but Chinese tourists have still been missing. The below chart shows that only 3% of 2019 Chinese tourists have returned to Japan in 2023.

Source: Japan Tourism Statistics, Saxo

Airlines are now steadily increasing their routes between China and Japan to meet rising demand. Weaker yen should further boost interest in travelling to Japan from China group tourists. Airline stocks, travel operators and leisure facilities could be benefitted with the rising inbound Chinese tourists, especially during the upcoming Golden Week holiday from October 1 to 6. The per-capita spending on shopping from China tourists surpassed 100,000 yen in 2019, suggesting Japanese retail and consumer stocks could also get a boost with the return of Chinese tourists.

Saxo’s APAC Tourism and Luxury Goods theme baskets stand to benefit from the revival in travel demand in China. We also collated a list of largest tourism and retail stocks in Japan below, for consideration purposes only. The list includes Uniqlo-owner Fast retailing and Disneyland-operator Oriental Land. Airlines like ANA and Japan Airlines, railroad companies like Central Japan Railway and East Japan Railway also make it to the list.

Source: Bloomberg, Saxo

It must be noted, however, that confidence levels of the Chinese consumer are weak given the property sector debacle. This has meant a significant shift in spending habits, and could mean that the number of outbound Chinese tourists could remain significantly smaller than the pre-pandemic levels. Lack of staff will also continue to limit the daily flights connecting Japan and China, keeping airfares higher. A pivot from Bank of Japan, or an impending recession, could also strengthen the yen and weigh on tourist spending.

Quarterly Outlook 2024 Q3

Sandcastle economics

01 / 05

  • Macro: Sandcastle economics

    Invest wisely in Q3 2024: Discover SaxoStrats' insights on navigating a stable yet fragile global economy.

    Read article
  • Bonds: What to do until inflation stabilises

    Discover strategies for managing bonds as US and European yields remain rangebound due to uncertain inflation and evolving monetary policies.

    Read article
  • Equities: Are we blowing bubbles again

    Explore key trends and opportunities in European equities and electrification theme as market dynamics echo 2021's rally.

    Read article
  • FX: Risk-on currencies to surge against havens

    Explore the outlook for USD, AUD, NZD, and EM carry trades as risk-on currencies are set to outperform in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • Commodities: Energy and grains in focus as metals pause

    Energy and grains to shine as metals pause. Discover key trends and market drivers for commodities in Q3 2024.

    Read article


The Saxo Group entities each provide execution-only service, and access to analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Inspiration Disclaimer and (v) Notices applying to Trade Inspiration, Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular, no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Trading in financial instruments carries risk, and may not be suitable for you. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Please read our disclaimers:
Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
Full disclaimer (

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Markets or its affiliates.

Saxo Markets
88 Market Street
CapitaSpring #31-01
Singapore 048948

Contact Saxo

Select region


Saxo Capital Markets Pte Ltd ('Saxo Markets') is a company authorised and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) [Co. Reg. No.: 200601141M ] and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms & Risk Warning to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products such as Margin FX products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo Markets does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website are not intended for residents of the United States, Malaysia and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the US and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.