September 5, 2023
According to the latest survey data, the 50-60 age group in Japan is driving the revitalization of the domestic travel market. As interest in overseas travel remains low, the travel industry needs to adapt to this new wave of demand.
In early April, the number of new coronavirus infections per day had further decreased to 7,000-8,000 from the previous month, showing progress in the calming of the pandemic. Under such circumstances, the growing demand for travel is becoming more apparent compared to the demand during the pandemic.
In the consumption expenditure forecast for the next month, 18% of the survey respondents expect an increase in consumption, while 25% expect a decrease, indicating stagnation in purchasing intentions. However, among all age groups, only the 50-60 age group has a higher proportion of people planning to increase consumption than those expecting a decrease, making it the leading age group in consumption activities.
In this 50-60 age group, the desire to consume in the "travel" industry has further improved from the previous month, indicating that this age group's enthusiasm for travel plays a part in the overall revitalization of consumption activities.
Among internet users in Japan, only about 2% plan to travel abroad for leisure purposes within the next six months, and less than 1% plan to travel abroad for business purposes, which indicates a stagnation in the demand for overseas travel itself.
On the other hand, when it comes to domestic travel, an overwhelming number of people are planning trips compared to international travel. One in four people plans to travel domestically within the next six months. While cautious about traveling abroad, it can be said that the growing travel needs head toward domestic travel.
The top reason cited for not planning an overseas leisure trip within the next six months was "airfares and hotel charges have been too high," followed by "the complexity of PCR testing and visa applications upon entry and exit" and "concerns about coronavirus." The soaring fuel resource prices and unstable exchange rates, as well as the rapidly recovering global tourism demand in the post-corona era, caused a surge in airfares. It seems that there won't be a significant increase in overseas leisure travelers unless travel and accommodation costs become more affordable.
In conclusion, the Japanese travel industry is witnessing a shift in demand, with a heightened interest in domestic travel, particularly among the 50-60 age group. The reluctance to travel abroad is primarily driven by high travel costs, complex entry and exit procedures, and lingering concerns about the coronavirus.
To capitalize on this new wave of demand, business decision-makers in the travel industry should consider the following recommendations:
By addressing the needs of the domestic market and working to restore confidence in international travel, the travel industry in Japan can successfully navigate the post-pandemic landscape and continue to grow.