Rank-size Distribution and the Geographical Dispersion of Tourist Flows in Japan


  • Yoko Konishi Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), Japan


Inbound tourism boom, Zipf’s law, Gibrat’s Law, Rank-clocks, Geographical Dispersion


Since 2012, the importance of the tourism industry in Japan has been increasing due to an unprecedented inbound tourism boom. This paper examines the rank-size distribution, geographical dispersion and growth rates and study whether Zipf’s and Gibrat’s laws strike Japan’s tourist flows. For inbound tourists to Japan, this is the first study analyzed by country of origin. Our analysis reveals that both the ranks and the sizes for Japanese tourists are stable, while the numbers of inbound tourists of origin countries have higher growth rates and fluctuate in rank order. Based on our comparative analysis, we conclude that the Southeast Asian countries will continue to grow, and there is room for improving geographical dispersion. They will have high potential about increasing share of the inbound market.


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How to Cite

Konishi, Y. (2020). Rank-size Distribution and the Geographical Dispersion of Tourist Flows in Japan. Thailand and The World Economy, 38(2), 41–62. Retrieved from https://so05.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/TER/article/view/210161