Effects of Distance and Borders on International and Interregional Tourist Flows: A micro gravity analysis

Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki (Vice President, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2018 18-J-012
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This study measures the effects of geographical distance and national borders on tourist flows. Although there has been a large number of studies applying the gravity model to migration and tourist flows, analysis covering both international and intranational movements of people has been scarce. This study, using unique official statistics for accommodation facilities in Japan, empirically analyzes the determinants of both international and intranational tourist flows. According to the gravity model estimations, physical distance has a large negative effect on tourist flows, but the quantitative magnitude of the effects is not much different between foreign tourists visiting Japan and domestic interprefectural tourists. The border effect on tourist flow is large, and the number of tourists from foreign countries is more than 60% smaller than that of domestic ones. These results suggest that policies to mitigate border barriers may contribute to increasing the number of foreign tourists.

The English version of this paper is 18-E-021