Japan's domestic travelers spend more than before pandemic between Jan. and Mar.

Japan's domestic travelers spent more during the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japan Tourism Agency says domestic travelers spent more than 4.23 trillion yen, or about 31 billion dollars, between January and March.

The figure is a 1.8-fold increase year-on-year and a 0.5 percent increase from four years ago.

It is the first time in this quarterly survey that the figure topped the pre-pandemic level.

The agency attributes the increase to the government subsidy program to boost domestic travel.

Spending per traveler averaged just over 42,000 yen, or about 300 dollars, which is 21 percent more than before the pandemic.

Foreign tourists visiting Japan have surged since entry rules were relaxed, but the data shows that more residents are traveling inside the country too.