JTB has forecasted that Japanese domestic travelers, Japanese overseas travelers and international visitors to Japan will increase in 2019. Japanese overseas travelers are especially expected to exceed 19 million a year for the first time, and international visitors to continue a double-digit growth. Travel Voice summaries key events relevant to tourism in Japan in 2019, a year before Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, according to the JTB’s reports.
Up to 10 holidays in a row in this year’s Golden Week period
In accordance with coronation of new Emperor, May 1st (Wednesday) and October 22nd (Tuesday) only in 2019 will become national holidays. In this years’ Golden Week period from April 27th to May 6th, up to 10 holidays in a row can be allowed. Several travel agents have already received more bookings for overseas travel package tours, particularly for long-haul destinations like Europe, than a year earlier.
Eight three-consecutive-holidays except the Golden Week will be available through 2019, including August 10th to 12th, September 14th to 16th and September 21st to 23rd in the summer. Two three-consecutive-holidays in September are expected to encourage people to shift their summer holidays later.
In addition, up to nine holidays in a row will be available in 2019-2020 New Year holiday period.
Departure tax and rise in consumption tax
The Japanese government started collecting the departure tax of 1,000 JPY a traveler on an air ticket on January 7th 2019. JTB has forecasted that the departure tax may not affect overseas travel so much.
In October, the Japanese government plans to raise the consumption tax from 8% today to 10%. JTB sees that the negative influence on travel demand will be small by the end of 2019, however when the consumption tax was raised from 5% to 8% in April 2014, year-on-year reductions of revenue were found from two months after the enforcement to the winter in that year. So, one of challenges for the tourism industry is how they can boost the travel demand after rise in consumption tax in October 2019
Rugby World Cup is a great opportunity to showcase tourism throughout Japan
Another key event in 2019 is Rugby World Cup, which will be an opening of large-scale sports events followed by Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 and World Masters Games in Osaka in 2021. Also, Osaka has been selected as a city of World Expo in 2025.
As games of Rugby World Cup are hosted by 12 cities throughout Japan, the international sports event will be a great opportunity to showcase attractiveness in local regions of Japan and accordingly to send more international visitors to local regions.