Japan Data

Deferred Pleasures: Japanese Show Tendency to Delay Domestic and Overseas Trips

Society Travel

The pandemic has changed people’s lifestyles, and many in Japan are showing hesitancy about traveling again.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced increased self-restraint about leaving the home and eating out, it seems that the way Japanese people think about travel has also changed. JTB Tourism Research & Consulting conducted a survey that revealed a cautious mindset, with respondents talking about postponing domestic trips and shelving overseas travel plans.

The survey was conducted from January 21 to 25 during the second state of emergency in 11 prefectures. JTB Tourism Research & Consulting spoke with 6,520 people nationwide, aged 20 and above. Of the respondents, 36.0% stated that they had traveled domestically in the period between April and December 2020.

On a quarterly basis, the number of people who traveled rose progressively, with 17.5% between April and June, 22.8% between July and September, and 25.0% between October and December. The research institute reported that “with Tokyo being added to the Go To Travel campaign from October, seniors aged 60 and above became particularly keen.”

Of the respondents, 27.6% were planning to travel within Japan in 2021, with 11.7% making plans for 2022 and beyond, showing a positive desire to travel. On the other hand, only 7.5% indicated an intention to travel overseas in 2021, with 11.5% indicating such intentions for 2022 and beyond, showing that people are being much more conservative about planning overseas trips than domestic ones. In fact, 8.3% of respondents stated that they would no longer travel overseas. That percentage rose to 12.0% in respondents aged 60 and over, indicating that “one can find a feeling among senior citizens of being finished with overseas travel.”

When asked their thoughts on traveling under the second state of emergency, 26.8% replied that “At the moment, people should refrain from trips in accordance with the wishes of the government and municipalities.” If one includes those who responded they felt more like that they had to refrain from trips than in the first declaration or felt less like they needed to, over half felt they should show some restraint in traveling. Regarding the Go To Travel campaign, 15.7% of the total, and 32.8% of those who used it in 2020, responded that they would “definitely use it if it is brought back.”

When the people who responded that they planned to travel in Japan in 2021 were asked what conditions would make them want to go on a trip, the majority, at 33.1%, said “if a good package and good accommodations are available.” After that, the most popular answers were “if the destination is not crowded” and “if cheap packages are available.” Meanwhile, 29.8% responded “if there is a clear trend towards fewer cases,” and 28.9% said “if there is an official declaration that the coronavirus pandemic has ended.”

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta)

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