Japan’s New Year domestic travel forecast at 72% of pre-pandemic levels

The number of Japanese holidaymakers taking domestic trips over the New Year holiday period is expected to rise by 3 million from a year earlier, but remain at 71.8 percent of pre-pandemic levels , or 21 million people, according to travel agency projections released this month. . .

Major Japanese travel agency JTB Corp partially attributed the expected increase in the 2021/2022 holiday period to people having a lower psychological barrier to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the company, the less-than-full recovery in travel was likely the result of higher prices for goods and services, as well as efforts to limit outdoor activities during the ongoing “eighth wave” virus infections.

During the 2019/2020 New Year period, the last before the pandemic began in spring 2020, an estimated 29.27 million people took domestic trips.

JTB projected the number of people who would stay at least one night in travel destinations between December 23 and January 3, 2023, based on an online questionnaire conducted in November and available booking data.

Average travel spending is expected to rise 12.1 percent from a year earlier to ¥37,000 per person, with an increase in family trips and trips involving stays of two to four nights.

Solo travel, which had a greater incidence during the pandemic, is expected to decline.

The number of Japanese holidaymakers taking overseas trips during the New Year holiday period is also expected to more than sevenfold from a year earlier to 150,000, but would still be less than 20 percent of the level observed during the 2019/2020 period. . .

The rapid weakening of the Japanese yen against the US dollar this year and rising surcharges on international flights due to rising oil prices may affect the slow recovery. Both make overseas travel more expensive for people in Japan.

According to travel agency HIS Co, its November data showed a roughly 19-fold increase in the number of people making overseas travel bookings for December. 24 in January 3 of 2023, compared to the previous fiscal year. The total, however, was still only about 20 percent of what it was in fiscal 2019.

The most popular destination during the current cycle is Seoul, followed by Honolulu and Bangkok, the company said.

AND KYODO

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