CTC News

Long-haul travel stayed stable in Japan despite a daunting 2011.

The country is still rebuilding after the impact of the earthquake, tsunami and second recession, according to CTC’s latest Global Tourism Watch report.

09 April 2012
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Japan suffered a devastating triple whammy in 2011. The March Tōhuku earthquake and tsunami, followed by a second quake-induced recession, would have left a lesser market on its knees. Yet the key long-haul travel indicators stayed stable in 2011, a remarkable achievement under the circumstances says the freshly-minted Global Tourism Watch (GTW) Japan 2011 summary report from the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC).

Still, jittery Japanese consumers have retreated into self-restraint mode. Rising public debt, a yen soaring into the stratosphere and a decelerating world economy has sent confidence spiralling downwards and dried up spending.

Some other key insights:

  • The Japanese outbound travel market has languished in the past 10 years: 16.6 million departures in 2010 was a 7% drop on 2000.
  • Lifestyle changes are having a considerable impact on Japanese consumers, with clothes, smartphones and home entertainment now a bigger spending priority than travel.
  • British Columbia (77%) and Ontario (73%) have the most appeal for Japanese travellers over the next two years, with Quebec (45%) and Alberta (42%) also piquing interest.  
  • The USis the market frontrunner for destination awareness, with Australiaa long way back in second and Canada in fourth spot sandwiched by Italy and France.
  • Japanese travellers see Canada as a relatively pricey destination. Although actual costs have dipped due to the power of the yen, the loonie’s upswing has counteracted this and minimized any benefits for Japanese travellers. The weaker Euro and US dollar has therefore added to the appeal of those destinations.
  • Nature and the great Canadian outdoors hit the bulls-eye for Japanese travellers.However, culinary products and urban experiences do not score as highly.
  • The best way to tap into Japanese imaginations remains through TV travel shows.

Harris/Decima Research conducts the Global Tourism Watchsurvey for CTC. The company asks thousands of participants aged 18 and over from around the world for their views on Canada and CTC’s “Canada. Keep Exploringtourism brand. The 2011 reports look to identify shifts in each market since 2007. 

Read the Global Tourism Watch Japan 2011 summary report.

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