CTC News

Economic turmoil affected Japanese travel plans in 2013.

The depreciating yen put the brakes on a rebounding international travel market, according to CTC’s latest Global Tourism Watch report.

27 February 2014
Print

Times have been turbulent in Japan. Just as its economy was starting to recover from severe underperformance in the 1990s, the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011 had a huge impact on industrial output. The new Global Tourism Watch (GTW) summary report by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) highlights two more areas that could further affect travel spending: a weakening yen and planned rises in the consumption tax this year and in 2015.

More key data:

  • Despite being the world’s third-largest economy (behind the US and China), Japan is only the seventh-largest global tourism market.
  • Although 2012’s 18.5 million international trips hinted at signs of a rebound in Japan’s outbound travel market, the initial indicators from 2013 were for a 6% decline.
  • Only 39% of Japanese travellers have taken a long-haul trip in the past three years.
  • The top four long-haul destinations for Japanese travellers are the US, Thailand, Germany and France, with Canada further down the ladder in 16th place.
  • Japan is Canada’s sixth-largest overseas market, representing 5% of total tourism revenue.
  • In 2012, 190,000 Japanese travellers chose Canada as their vacation destination, a 2% year-on-year rise.
  • In terms of brand personality perceptions, Canada is the No. 1 destination for being beautiful and inspirational in the minds of Japanese travellers.
  • British Columbia (70%) and Ontario (60%) are the dynamic duo destinations for Japanese travellers intending to visit Canada in the next two years.
  • The top tourist experiences for Japanese travellers are cultural and historical attractions, beautiful scenery—a strong association for Canada—and local lifestyles.
  • However, Japanese interests are shifting towards urban experiences, especially shopping and city culture.
  • Trip expense is the primary barrier to Japanese travellers choosing Canada, with other preferred destinations and distance also cited as being prohibitive.
  • Recent Japanese visitors tend to be female, well educated and wealthy; 40% of those are aged 35 or under, while 35% are 55 or older.
  • TV travel shows are the main source of information on Canada for Japanese travellers.
  • The most popular activity for Japanese consumers on vacation is online destination research.
  • Japanese travellers prefer to share their adventures after the trip is completed, with the majority doing so in person. Recent visitors to Canada also post their opinions on travel review sites.

TNS conducts the Global Tourism Watch surveys 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 2013 reports look to identify shifts in each market since 2011 via a substantially revised questionnaire.

Read the Global Tourism Watch 2013 Japan summary report.

 

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