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By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno Pacific Daily News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (July 27, 2001 – Pacific Daily News)---A JTB Corp. survey states that Guam and Saipan are expected to receive a 2.9 percent increase in Japanese tourists vacationing during their summer season.

If that projection holds true, both destinations will have played host to 212,000 visitors from Japan by the end of next month, according to the JTB survey.

Along with the good news comes a caveat.

Guam's and Saipan's combined growth rate, in terms of attracting Japanese tourists, has fallen behind China and Korea.

The JTB Corp. survey listed China as the fastest-growing destination for Japanese visitors, Korea second and Europe third.

China is expected to post an 8.3 percent increase this summer to 221,000 visitors. Korea will draw 342,000 Japanese tourists, up 5.9 percent by the end of Japan's summer travel season, according to JTB Corp.

China has improved its line-up of package tour products for three-generation family trips and for young women, the tour company said in a survey report.

In Korea, Japanese guests are attracted to the experience of walking around and shopping, the report states.

The weakening of the yen and Japan's economic uncertainties have created a trend that the survey report called ''careful spending'' among travelers.

Overseas travel is expected to cost Japanese tourists an average of $1,722 per person, up 4.5 percent because of the weakened yen, the report states.

JTB's estimates were based on a questionnaire survey of 2,200 travelers, bookings with JTB offices and airline reservations, among others.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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