Tourism Industry News
Massive Drop in Outbound Japanese Travel
November proved to be the worst month of 2008 to date for Japanese outbound travel with overseas traffic declining by -14.07% year-on-year, according to Travel Journal International Online (TJI).
TJI Online Editor Adrian (Edo) Mangiboyat noted: “With the financial crisis worldwide worsening, market indicators suggest overseas travel will continue to fall off during the next three months of 2009. The travel industry predicts the worst is yet to come.”
TJI cited preliminary figures compiled by the Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO), which showed the provisional count of Japanese heading overseas during the month as 1,247,000 – well below the 1,451,116 recorded in November 2007.
The decline for the month was the biggest monthly fall in 2008 (though December’s results are yet to be unveiled), exceeding the -11.92% drop seen in August, TJI said. On that earlier occasion many Japanese stayed home due to high fuel surcharges applied by airlines that passed on steep rising costs. The price of jet fuel has since plummeted.
November also represented the gravest decline seen since October 2003 when the SARS scare led to a free fall in traffic throughout the entire year (-19.53%), TJI said.
Assessing prospects, Mangiboyat wrote: “Japanese consumers are reluctant to travel as the country's flailing economy has prompted concerns for their financial health and employment security following the financial crisis in the US, which has spread worldwide.”
As reported, the JTB Foundation predicted in December that the number of Japanese travellers heading overseas in 2008 will reach some 16 million, down -7.5% from 2007. In the first 11 months of 2008, the tally was 14,694,860, off -7.72% year-on-year.