The Japanese return to travel: strong demand for travel but little for Europe

After more than two years of standstill, we can finally say that Japan’s outgoing travel market is back on track: the sharp recovery in recent months has finally marked a change of course and it is now clear that tourist demand has restarted. The recovery has actually been hampered by various factors, first and foremost the weakness of the yen, which has had a significant impact on travel prices, and then the rise in fuel prices, but the desire to return to travel has prevailed. Travellers are adapting their needs and for now demand is mainly focusing on cheaper destinations, but it seems that nothing can hinder the great strength of demand growth.

Strong travel demand despite weak Yen

As we know, Asian countries were the last to reopen their borders, and some of them still have not done so: China, for example, still confirms its Zero-Covid policy, while Japan definitively reopened its borders to international tourists only last month. Similarly, restrictive outbound policies have been equally strict.
During 2021, many countries reopened their borders and accepted tourists from Japan with a low level of restrictions. Demand, however, remained very low because travellers would then have to undergo very strict restrictions when returning home. This trend is also confirmed by the data on travel intentions (graph on the cover), which shows the number of searches for flights made from Japan: it can be clearly seen that until the end of 2021 there were very few people looking for flights, but then the market exploded. In the first three months of the year, the Japanese made around 25 million searches; that is 248% more than in the same period in 2021 (7.1 million) and demand has continued to grow until today. During the last few days (1-7 November) the Japanese made, on average, 740 thousand flight searches per day.

The most sought-after destinations

Where do all these Japanese want to go? Certainly the first channel is domestic, as 45% of flights are to airports within national borders. This primacy is a normal condition, but it is certainly influenced by economic factors: due to the very weak yen Japanese tourists have to carefully consider their travel budget. This leads to a preference for domestic travel, in order to avoid suffering an unfavourable currency exchange rate and seeing their spending capacity lowered.

Japanese travel demand infographic

After Japan, the interest of the Japanese stops at neighbouring countries, especially Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, Taiwan and Indonesia.
It should also be noted that there is a very strong interest for the United States of America, which alone accounts for 5% of all foreign searches; it is second only to Korea (9%).

After neighbouring countries and the USA, the third most desired place for the Japanese is Europe, but so far the searches have a very low share. The Japanese who want to go to the UK, for example, are 2% of the total, while for France and Italy they are 1%. Certainly, the data testify to a great upturn in Japanese demand, but for now we should still wait before seeing them invade the streets of European cities of art.

Lybra Destination con la potencia de Zucchetti Travel Data Lake

El Travel Data Lake de Grupo Zucchetti recopila y gestiona cada día millones de búsquedas de pernoctaciones, gracias a las cuales es posible tener una visión estadísticamente relevante sobre la demanda futura de los turistas y extraer información valiosa sobre el perfil de los viajeros.  El sistema recoge de forma anónima las búsquedas de alojamiento realizadas por los viajeros a través de los CRS de Grupo Zucchetti, devolviendo una previsión precisa de la demanda hotelera (período, destino,
duración de la estancia, etc.).  Zucchetti es la mayor software house italiana: con una experiencia de más de 40 años, en 2021 cuenta con más de 700.000 clientes, ingresos por más de 1.300 millones de euros y un equipo de más de 8.000 personas. Gracias a su división Hospitality, que proporciona herramientas digitales a más del 50% de los alojamientos de Italia, Zucchetti desarrolló en 2020 el Travel Data Lake, el mayor centro de previsión de Italia, con el objetivo de centralizar los datos de previsión de los motores de reserva del grupo.
Los datos son procesados por Destination, la plataforma de market intelligence de Lybra Tech, una empresa de Grupo Zucchetti especializada en tecnología turística y análisis de datos. Lybra Destination es un dashboard multi-fuente que ayuda a los Decision Makers a explotar el potencial de los datos futuros: es la única herramienta que puede gestionar todos los datos del territorio analizando múltiples fuentes simultáneamente. Aprovechando el poder de la IA y el machine learning, Lybra Destination ayuda a los destinos turísticos a orientar su toma de decisiones y a controlar el impacto de sus actividades de promoción.

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