The majority of Japanese travelers intend to take to the skies again, with 80% planning to travel in the next 12 months for leisure purposes (83%) and to domestic destinations, according to the new Cirium Traveler Intelligence Report.
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Aviation analytics company Cirium records a noticeable increase in intention to travel across other markets surveyed, while travelers in Japan continue to be wary of the potential risks from COVID-19.
International travel is likely to remain difficult, however, there are encouraging indicators of recovery in Japanese domestic markets. Cirium data shows domestic traffic in Japan at 54% of 2019 levels, above the 49% average seen across APAC domestic markets excluding China.
Additionally, Cirium schedules data shows Japan is projected to reach 93% of 2019 Q1 traffic in the first quarter of 2022.
The recovery of international flights continues to be slow, but domestic traffic is recovering to pre-COVID levels experienced in 2019. According to the Cirium Japan survey, the prefectures of Sapporo and Okinawa are the most popular destinations for domestic travel, followed by Tokyo, Fukuoka and Osaka as secondary choices.
Jeremy Bowen, Cirium CEO, said: “The challenge is for airlines to make travelers feel safe about air travel and provide attractive and targeted offers to Japanese holiday makers to encourage travel.”
“At the same time, the tourism sectors needs to work collaboratively in making their region more appealing as a holiday destination and to entice Japan travelers to their prefectures.”
Further insights revealed several factors that could influence the intention to fly. One in five (20%) Japanese respondents will not book a flight until vaccines were fully deployed while almost half (42%) said a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases will encourage travel.
Once international travel is permitted, nearly half (48%) of the respondents plan to take an international trip, with one-third selecting Europe as their choice of international destination.
The younger age group in Japan (18-29 year olds) expressed the most interest to fly again. Over two-thirds intended to fly within a year (68%) and over half (61%) plan to do so internationally with a preference for the region of East Asia.
When it comes to airline choice, Japanese carriers were clearly preferred with most citing All Nippon Airways as a favourite followed by Japan Airlines, Peach Aviation and Skymark Airlines.
Additional motivating reasons for choosing an airline over another are mandatory mask wearing on flight, requirement for health passports and improved cleaning processes on the aircraft.
The survey was carried out by independent market intelligence firm AudienceNet on behalf of Cirium. The firm interviewed over 2,092 adults in Japan between October 18 to 25, 2021. The margin of error in the reported data did not exceed +/-3% at the 95% confidence level.
Notes to editors
Click here to read the full Japan Cirium Traveler Intelligence Report.
Additional insights on air travel in the full report include:
- The importance of flying on modern aircraft
- Future use of airport lounges
- Cabin class preferences
- Top destinations in and outside of Japan
Cirium brings together powerful data and analytics to keep the world moving. Delivering insight, built from decades of experience in the sector, enabling travel companies, aircraft manufacturers, airports, airlines and financial institutions, among others, to make logical and informed decisions which shape the future of travel, growing revenues and enhancing customer experiences. Cirium is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The shares of RELX PLC are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.
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