The volume of travel to Japan will grow this summer

Japan’s outbound travel will intensify this summer as domestic travel will reach almost pre-pandemic levels, according to surveys by two of Japan’s largest travel agents.

In a JTB Corporation survey of 1,030 people on their travel plans between July 15 and August 31 this year, 4.7 percent said they would travel abroad, up 1.2 percent year-on-year. However, the 2019 rate is 10.5 percent.

Japan’s outbound travel is expected to increase between July 15 to August 31 this year

The most popular destinations were Hawaii (9.8 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (8.3 per cent), Europe (8.1 per cent), South Korea (5.7 per cent) and Taiwan (5.5 per cent).

However, JTB’s top sales of overseas products at the time, were Hawaii, Singapore and Guam.

Based on its survey, JTB estimates that 500,000 people in Japan will travel abroad this summer, more than 500 percent year-on-year but only 17 percent of the 2019 number.

The company cited the Covid-19 test on re-entry and the yen’s depreciation as major barriers to a larger rebound. Additional issues include higher fares due to the impact of the war in Ukraine and delays in the recovery of air routes, particularly in Asia.

However, outbound travel will be facilitated by recent measures by the Japanese government to open more airports to international flights, including Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) Hiroshima (Hiroshima Prefecture) and Takamatsu (Kagawa Prefecture).

A survey by HIS International in June, which explored its package tours from July 21 to August 31, shows that reservations rose 2,191 percent compared to summer 2021, but international travel remains at Only 10 percent of 2019 levels.

The most booked overseas destinations are Hawaii, Bangkok and Seoul.

For domestic travel, HIS cited a “movement to normalize domestic flights”, with major carriers operating at 95 percent of their pre-Covid levels from mid-July to the end of August. By destination, Okinawa, Hokkaido, Nagasaki and Osaka have the most bookings.

JTB predicts that 70 million people will spend at least one night on a domestic trip during the period July 15 to August 31, an increase of 75 percent year-on-year and representing 96.7 percent of 2019 levels.

The company said the summer of 2022 will see “more destinations, a revival of travel in urban areas, more use of public transport and an increase in the number of people traveling in groups.”