JTB Predicts 4% Growth in Outbound Travelers for 2011 with Demand Boost Triggered by International Flight Operation at Haneda Airport
Japanese overseas travelers for 2011 are expected to be 17.3 million, an increase of 3.7 percent over the assumed number of 16.68 million for this year, according to a forecast made by JTB in its travel market survey for the coming year. It predicts that the continuation of appreciated yen would work favorably on the travelers and sustain their motivation for going abroad.
As of October 2010, the new Haneda Airportâ€™s operation for international fights raised the weekly capacity supply from the Tokyo metropolitan area by 21,000 seats, which the survey report says is another factor to spur demand. The seat capacity from Haneda to Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore has dramatically increased, and also to Korea, Hong Kong, and China. Therefore, JTB expects travel demand will grow for Asia and possibly for other destinations from the Tokyo metropolitan area. Entry of low cost carriers (LCC) also gives a drive to demand by providing wider options.
The average spending for overseas travel is estimated at 256,000 yen, a decrease of 1.9 percent due to yen appreciation and accelerated shift to nearby destinations. However, note that aggregate travel expenditure is supposed to rise 1.8 percent to 4,430 billion yen on increased number of travelers.
Meanwhile, the number of domestic travelers for 2011 is expected to grow 1.2 percent over this year to 302 million. The growth is attributed to a number of 3-day weekend holidays and favorable calendar dates of the Golden Week. Those holidays will draw pleasure-seekers to the perennially popular spa resorts, or take them to road trips cashing in on the reduced expressway toll on weekends and holidays. The report forecasts active movements of long-distance travelers to Aomori or to Kagoshima spurred by the extension of Shinkansen railways. Introduction of the new train service of â€œHayabusaâ€ on Tohoku Shinkansen will call more travelers to railway trips. The expected average spending will be 32,200 yen, up 0.6 percent, and total domestic travel expenditure is supposed to be 9,720 billion yen, up 1.7 percent.
Foreign visitors to Japan are estimated at 9.2 million, up 5.7 percent, as travelers from East Asia will grow in number with more flights coming into service on Haneda Airportâ€™s expansion.
It should be noted that the overseas travel spending mentioned above includes travel expenses and local consumption such as shopping and meals, but excludes indirect expenses before or after the trip like travel bags and personal effects. Similarly, domestic travel spending is limited to the expenses incurred after departure from home until return home.
Source: Travel Vision
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