September 21, 2023
As the world slowly emerges from the shadow of the pandemic, it's heartening to see a resurgence in travel, especially in Japan. However, as our survey reveals, it's the economic factors, not the fear of the virus, that now weigh more heavily on the minds of would-be travelers. Understanding these shifting priorities will be key for businesses aiming to thrive in the post-COVID era.
Since the end of Japan's border control measures on April 29, 2023, there has been a gradual recovery in the number of Japanese people traveling abroad. Comparing with 2019, the duration of travel has shortened with destinations like Hawaii, Korea, and Taiwan gaining popularity. Despite the tough situation, there are promising signs of recovery.
Major domestic airlines announced a reduction in surcharges, previously escalated due to high fuel costs. This development is expected to contribute positively to international travel. The renewal of expired passports during the pandemic is also proceeding smoothly, indicating a positive sentiment among the citizens towards traveling.
However, the supply of airline seats has not fully recovered to the 2019 level. Additional challenges like weak yen, high inflation, and labor shortages in the service industry globally, have further complicated the situation. Under these circumstances, the number of people traveling abroad during the summer vacation period is estimated to be around 1.2 million, which is 214.3% compared to the previous year and 39.6% compared to 2019.
The 'Travel' category showed an interesting trend. As the summer holiday season approaches, there is an increased willingness to spend more on travel across all age groups. This rise in consumption is especially visible for overseas travel to popular destinations like Korea, Taiwan, and Hawaii.
Contrarily, those not planning to travel abroad attributed their decision to the surge in airfares and accommodation costs, rather than the threat of the coronavirus. Economic factors seem to be of more significant concern to prospective travelers.
Z.com Engagement Lab will continue to track the consumer behavior of the Japanese public and update survey data, monitoring market trends and changes in consumer demand.