Japan Association of Travel Agents: State of Japanese travel and tourism


International arrivals increased by 52.0% in January (year‐on‐year basis) reaching 1,852,000. 1,891,000 foreigners visited Japan (+36.4%) in January and 2,010,000 in March (+31.7%). 

For two successive months, the international arrivals surpassed the 2 million mark, with 2,082,000 (18.0% increase on year‐on‐year basis) international visitors coming to Japan in April.  This number broke the record of the previous month surpassing it by 72,000, becoming the highest in the history of inbound travel to Japan.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, outbound travel grew by 3.3% in January, reaching 1,276,000departures.

In February, 5.9% more, or 1,331,000 Japanese traveled overseas.   

The number of departures continued to grow in March and April, with 1,551,000 (+1.1%) and 1,225,000 (+7.0%) Japanese going abroad in
March and April respectively.  

Transaction by Major Japanese Travel Agent
Outbound continued the downward trend, declining by 13.6% in December, 8.1% in January and 4.0% in February.

Foreign arrivals grew by 63.3% in December, 40.5% in January and 26.3% in February.  Domestic travel continued to expand during the three months, surpassing the number of the same period of the previous year.

Compared to the same period last year, bookings at major travel agencies were down by 13.6% in December, 8.1% in January and 4.0% in February, as the downward trend continued. Demand for travel to Europe in general fell short of that of the previous year.  A comparatively short year‐end holiday season, terrorist attacks and devalued yen are considered factors in the weak demand.

Data from major travel agencies shows substantial growth of the number of visitors compared to the same period of the previous year.

International arrivals were up by 63.3% in December, 40.5% in January, and 26.3% in February.

The increased number of flights – LCC in particular – to East Asian countries and the visa waiver programs, accounted for the growth.

Domestic travel grew by 4.5% in December, 6.9% in January and 6.5% in February.   

Among other factors, the new attraction of Universal Studios Japan Kansai was popular with domestic travelers.  The operations of Hokuriku
Shinkansen continued to factor positively in the steady performance of Hokuriku while travel companies ran promotional campaigns which drew visitors to the Tohoku region. 

The Japan Association of Travel Agentsinitiated the “Enjoy Japan
to the Full!” campaign on April 1, 2014, promoting the increase
of domestic overnights.    The first commercial, run from the
beginning of the campaign, featured popular artists WORLD
ORDER and was produced in Hokuriku, which at the time had
attracted attention with the extension of the Hokuriku
Shinkansen tracks.  

In April 2015, JATA released a promotional video shot in Kyushu, which had garnered popularity as a destination for inbound travelers.  

The second video for the year was released in July the same year, and again, introduced the Tohoku region.  

In fiscal year 2016, the campaign isscheduled to introduce Fukushima with a promotional video titled “Miwa’s Tour Diary” released in April.