What are reasons for increases in Japanese overseas travelers for four months in a row?

JTB Tourism Marketing recently conducted an urgent survey on the outbound travel market of Japan, paying its attention to increases in Japanese overseas traveler for four months in a row after the market downturn for a long time. The survey finds that leisure overseas travelers accounted for 74.6% of the total in the period from January to May 2016, followed by visits in families or friends (13.7%) and business trips (11.6%).

By age, the ratio of student travelers was high in February and March, and 60 years old or older high in March and April. In May, more 15 to 29 years old travelers went abroad. JTB Tourism Marketing analyzed that the current outbound travel market was boosted by 15 to 29 years old males and females and 60’s females.

By destination, a share of Asia accounted for half, and popularities for Thailand and Korea particularly rose. The top reason for selection of a destination was ‘a desirable destination for a long time (33.3%),’ followed by ‘a destination to visit repeatedly (27.1%)’ and ‘an affordable destination to visit (23.2%).’ Among 15 to 29 years old males and females, major reasons included ‘a proud destination to visit’ and ‘a destination recommended on SNS or blogs.’ JTB Tourism Marketing said that it was probable for young generation to be motivated by SNS and push-typed information on smart phone.


The most selected travel style was ‘a package tour including a free-time plan (38.9%),’ but the ratio was smaller than a year ago. As ‘FIT booking air and hotel separately on different sites (21.2%)’ was ranked the second selected travel style, FIT tended to increase.


Regarding a booking channel, the ratio of website rose up 10 points to 69.1% compared to a year ago. While the ratio of travel agents for booking was down 8.9 points to 51.7%, the ratio of OTA for booking was up 2.6 points to 12.9%. OTA was used particularly by 50’s males and 30’s females, according to the survey. Some travel agents increased bookings on its websites by 60% or more.


Regarding booking at a real retailer, the ratio of 15 to 29 years old was 33.9%, which was the largest share, followed by 23.6% of 15 to 29 years old males. Reasons for selection of a real retailer for booking included ‘I need consultation on local activities’ or ‘I want to ask about details’ for young females and ‘I need price-oriented travel information’ or ‘I want to pay not online but at a real retailer’ for young males.


Based on the survey results, JTB Tourism Marketing points out that senior travelers with a lot of travel experiences tend to book online, while younger travelers with less experiences tend to look for face-to-face consultation at a real retailer. Booking by younger travelers will certainly shift to online in the future, but it is undeniable that a real retailer is the first gateway for their overseas travels.

The survey was conducted online in the period from May 16 to 20 2016 to 3,399 15 to 79 years old males and females who traveled overseas after January 2014.

In Japanese

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