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Japan Soars to the Summit: No.1 in the ‘World’s Most Attractive Country’s Rankings

Hi everyone how are you?  Today’s theme is Japan, the tourism powerhouse, leaps to the top in the “World’s Most Attractive Country” Rankings.

What’s “World’s Most Attractive Country” Rankings

In the 2023 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, conducted by the prestigious American travel magazine ‘Condé Nast Traveler,’ Japan was selected as the top country in the ‘World Tourism Attractiveness Ranking 2023.’

I’m sure you will agree after watching the following video、

Top 10 Most Attractive Countries in the World

1st: Japan   2nd: Itary  3rd: Greek   4th: Ireland   5th: New Zealand  
6th: Spain   7th: Portugal 8th: Israel  9th: Norway   10th: Swiss

The Chairman of JNTO, Atsushi Kamou, stated, “In the current U.S. travel industry, overseas travel demand is returning to pre-COVID-19 (novel coronavirus infection) levels, and from the results of the readers’ poll in this magazine, we have very high expectations for travel to Japan.

Top 10 Most Attractive Large Cities (Population over 500,000) in the World

In the ranking of “Top 10 Most Attractive Large Cities (Population over 500,000) in the World,” Tokyo has moved up one place from last year, securing the second position.

The coexistence of ultra-modern skyscrapers, quiet temples, and a unique street style appears to be an exciting reason that captivates people.

Additionally, as a city with the highest number of Michelin Guide stars in the world and one of the top gourmet spots globally, popular places like “Oni-Kinbou,” known for its spicy “Karashibi Miso Ramen,” and the perennially highly-ranked bar “Benfiddich” are featured.


2nd:Tokyo (Japan)

3rd:Seoul (South Korea)

4th:Cape Town (South Africa)

5位th:Sydney (Australia)

6th:Copenhagen (Denmark)

7th:Oslo (Norway)

8th:Vancouver (Canada)

9th:Melbourne (Australia)

10th: Edinburgh (England)


What is the Tourism Competitiveness Ranking?

The ranking quantifies the competitiveness of each country’s tourism industry.

The World Economic Forum conducts the research and compiles the findings in the ‘Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report,’ ranking the countries accordingly.

Tourism competitiveness is assessed based on the following five areas and further divided into 17 sub-pillars consisting of 113 indicators:

[1] Enabling Environment (Safety, Hygiene, etc.)
[2] Travel and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions (Price Competitiveness, etc.)
[3] Infrastructure (Ground and Air Transportation, etc.)
[4] Travel and Tourism Demand (Availability of Tourism Resources, Motivation for Travel, etc.)
[5] Sustainability of Travel and Tourism (Environmental Sustainability, Handling of Over-Tourism, etc.)

Taisho Pond & Hodaka Mountain Range in the background, Nagano-prefecture

Among these, ‘Sustainability of Travel and Tourism’ pertains to sustainability and resilience. It is a newly added component in this year’s ranking.

In these five areas, Japan received high ratings in ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Travel and Tourism Demand,’ ranking third in the world in both categories.

Nachi no Taki(waterfall), Wakayama-prefecture

Particularly, the convenience of transportation infrastructure, the richness of cultural and natural heritage resources, along with safety and cleanliness, contributed to this high evaluation.

This resulted in Japan securing the top spot in the overall assessment.

Japan’s first-place ranking is a significant achievement, especially since it is the first time since the survey began in 2007 that Japan has ranked first, surpassing Western countries known for their advanced tourism industries.


Inbound Tourism’s Rapid Recovery – How Far Can It Go? However, Japan faces future challenges.

While Japan secured the top position, not all categories received equally high scores, and some areas had relatively lower evaluations.

Based on this data, it appears that setting prices that satisfy both tourists and local businesses, improving the labor market, and addressing issues such as over-tourism to create a sustainable tourism environment are pressing challenges for Japan in the future.

Takedajo-ato(the ruins of a castle), Hyougo-prefecture

Who Are the Most Preferred Tourists Worldwide?

According to a recent survey by Expedia, the largest American travel website, Japanese tourists are considered the most courteous and well-mannered, earning them the top spot.

Americans ranked second, while the French ranked at the bottom.

Irabe Oohashi, Okinawa-prefecture

Top 10 Most Attractive Railway Journeys in the World

1st: Nanatsuboshi in Kyushu (Japan)

2nd: Palace on Wheels (India)

3rd: Venice Simplon Orient Express (Europe)

4th: Belmond British Pullman (UK)

5th: Belmond Andean Explorer (South America)

6th: Rovos Rail (Africa)

7th: Rocky Mountaineer (North America)

8th: Danube Express (Europe)

9th: Golden Chariot (India)

10th: Hiram Bingham (South America)

In the “Top 10 Most Attractive Railway Journeys in the World” ranking, JR Kyushu’s cruise train “Nanatsuboshi in Kyushu” has been selected as the 1st place for three consecutive years.

Nanatsuboshi, Japan’s first cruise train, was born in 2013. It is a luxurious train that can accommodate only 20 passengers in just seven cars.

From beds to sink basins, traditional woodwork, and porcelain dinner plates, everything is handmade by skilled craftsmen, and the service is highly regarded.

Furthermore, it is noted that passengers not only have experiences onboard but also visit shrines, hot springs, and pottery studios in the region. This allows them to get to know the real Japan away from the major tourist destinations.

Furthermore, the survey found that Japan is the country where most respondents expressed a desire to revisit.

Finally, in the Japan Hotel category of the American travel magazine ‘Condé Nast Traveler,’ the ‘Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto’ secured the top position for the sixth consecutive year.

Northen Alps・Tateyama, Nagano-prefecture

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About the author

古林 茂樹(Shigeki Furubayashi )