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Steady recovery despite impact of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster

Number of Japanese overseas travelers forecasted to dip just 2.3 percent in 2011

Jul 21, 2011

Today, the Japan Travel Bureau Foundation, based in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, under President Norihito Shiga, held their “Symposium on Trends of the Japanese Overseas Travel Market,” and released the latest edition of “Market Insight 2011” describing trends in the Japanese outbound market and factors affecting its structural change.

Current Status and Future Prospects of the Japanese Outbound Market
i.e., focus of the report

- In spite of the Tohoku earthquake of March 11, 2011 and the tsunami-triggered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the drop in the number of Japanese outbound travelers was less severe than was the case with former crises, such as September 11, SARS, and the swine flu. The fact that the number of Japanese outbound travelers in June 2011 is down only 2.9% year-on-year, according to a newsflash released by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), it is a clear sign of upward momentum. The appreciation of the yen in mid 2011 may offset the negative effects on the Japanese outbound market caused by the steep rise in surcharges in 2011, and the Japanese outbound market is gradually recovering for the coming summer.

- In particular, business demand appears to have recovered quickly just before the Golden Week holiday in April. Also business demand, which led the 2010 market, continues to drive the 2011 market strongly. Business demand is estimated to develop further momentum since it has been forecast that economic recovery will be driven by reconstruction efforts, while more companies expand their overseas business operations and transfer manufacturing sites overseas.

- On the other hand, the holiday market has gradually been slowing since mid 2010. But since the experienced repeater category characterized by seniors (over sixty years of age) has returned to the market, the cutback in travel expenditure has eased, and there is a high possibility of an increase in travelers not only for short-haul destinations but also for long-haul destinations. The rise in surcharges, which was the biggest uncertainty factor in 2011, may yet be offset by the steep rise in the value of the yen, and now it is expected that the number of Japanese overseas travelers will increase among the repeater category.

- The outlook for 2011 is that the delay in the recovery of holiday travel is being steadily offset by business trips, and the overall number of travelers for 2011 is forecast to be down 2.3% year on-year (16,250,000).

For Further Information
The latest edition of “Market Insight 2011” updates the trends driving changes in the market structure, market development by destination, and market forecast for 2011 based on an independent survey into the impact of the Tohoku Earthquake.

Further information about the survey results and their analysis as applied to the Japanese overseas travel market, including the main points of the report as previously mentioned, are detailed in “Market Insight 2011.” This report may prove extremely beneficial for decision-making with strategists in the tourism industry. The report is available directly from the following website:

Number of Japanese overseas travelers forecasted to dip just 2.3 percent in 2011
Image from Japan Travel Bureau Foundation

Source: Japan Travel Bureau Foundation

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