Tourism in Japan has understandably taken a major hit since a devastating earthquake and tsunami rattled the country to its core in early March. Perhaps no city has been hit harder economically than Fukushima, located just 40 miles from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
Though tourism numbers are about half of what they were a year ago, not every visitor is shying away from travel there.
“We thought business would be in complete ruins. But it’s not as bad as we thought. At least we’re getting some customers who are buying,” local shop owner Yumiko Sato recently told the AP.
It appears some visitors have decided to take the risk and spend their tourism dollars when they are needed most. Still, the economic impact of the quake is expected to be great.
Fukushima welcomed more than 56 million visitors in 2009 and raked in nearly $3 billion in tourism revenue in 2008. Tourism numbers in 2011 are likely to pale in comparison when all is said and done.