November 2, 2023
As Japan reopens in the aftermath of the pandemic, we're witnessing a transformative shift in travel demands. Domestic travel fervor continues to grow, whereas the enthusiasm for overseas travel is tempered by high costs and lingering concerns about COVID-19. We are seeing the shape of a new travel market being sculpted.
Since July 7, an expert meeting has analyzed the latest infection status of the novel coronavirus in Japan. With numbers slowly rising nationwide since April, the infection count has continued to increase, even after the virus was categorized as a Class 5 infectious disease. The figures have risen for 11 consecutive weeks, with data from 42 prefectures higher than the previous week. Factors such as summer vacations may increase people-to-people contact, and their impact on the infection status needs close monitoring.
In the most recent survey by z.com Engagement Lab, we observed a drop from 11.3% to 6.6% in Japanese internet users planning to travel abroad in the next six months, demand for domestic travel has risen modestly from 26.8% to 27.1%. Following the end of the summer travel season, the number of people planning to travel abroad has decreased, but the demand for domestic tourism remains robust. As for overseas travel, popular destinations remain South Korea, followed by Taiwan and Hawaii. On the business travel front, those planning to go abroad for work dropped by 1.4 percentage points to 1.9%, while those planning domestic business trips increased by 0.7 percentage points to 8.9%.
For those without plans for overseas travel in the next six months, the primary reason cited was "high costs of airfare and accommodation," followed by "complicated procedures for PCR testing and visa applications at entry and exit," and "concerns about the coronavirus." While rising fuel prices and unstable exchange rates are certainly factors, the rapid global recovery of tourism demand after the pandemic has also led to an increase in airfares. To boost the number of overseas travelers, the issues of high travel and accommodation costs must be addressed.
Z.com Engagement Lab will continue to track the travel preferences of the Japanese public, update survey data, monitoring market trends and changes in consumer demand.