Overseas departures for all global destinations by Japanese travelers crept up by three-tenths of a percent in September 2015 (vs. September 2014), the first monthly, year-on-year increase since May 2014. Otherwise, when looking at the latest data from government, industry and trade organizations, one is persuaded to speculate that overseas travel from Japan to the United States might be on target to meet the expectations of the official forecast of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) even if expectations are low—NTTO has forecast that travel to the USA from Japan will decline by two percent in 2015.
Cited by analysts of the market as a principal reason for the decline of the market is the weakness of the Japanese Yen vs. the U.S. dollar. From mid-August 2012 to mid-August 2015, the Yen fell 36.5 percent in value vs. the dollar.
Yen vs. Dollar 2012-2015†
|Year||¥ = $|
While NTTO has been unable for furnish data for 2015 in a timely fashion because of processing difficulties within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, there are some statistical hints one can glean from other data.
For instance, information provided by the two dominant Japanese carriers—Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA)—shows healthy, if modest, increases in passenger traffic to the U.S. mainland and Hawaii for the key travel period of April-September, which is the first half of the fiscal year in Japan.
|Carrier||Passengers to U.S. Mainland & Hawaii||Change vs. April-Sept. 2014||Load Factor|
Notes on August 2015 Overseas Travel: While the half-year data, such as the airline numbers above indicate an upswing in the overseas departure numbers, the data for August—it is the peak travel month for Visit USA traffic from Japan—are not positive:
—Total sales amount of overseas travel booked by the 49 major government registered travel
companies was $ 1.824 billion, a 13.6 percent decrease vs. August 2014, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).
—Contributing to the decline were the decreasing value of the Yen, as well as the move of Silver Week holidays to a later period in September, which affected August bookings.
—Total amount of package sales was $666.36 million dollars, down 19.3 percent vs. August 2014.
—The total number of customers was 327,136 persons, down 20.8 percent vs. last year.
—Total sales of the 19 JTB Group travel companies was $544.15 million.
—The share of the 15 major companies of JTB Group’s 19 companies–JTB Business Solutions, Travel Plaza Int’l, PTS—was 40.42% for August.
—The share of JTB’s customers in total overseas travel in August was 17.9 percent—down 7.6 percent vs. August 2014.
Activity of Top 10 Travel Companies August 2015*
|Company & Rank||Sales (Millions, U.S $)||Growth Ration|
|1. JTB Group 15 companies||412.75||-18.10%|
|2. H. I. S.||344.1||-10.00%|
|3. JTB World Vacations||237.38||-17.00%|
|4. Hankyu Express 3 companies||157.09||-9.70%|
|5. KNT Holdings 8 companies||124.02||-17.20%|
|6. Nippon Travel Agency||102.76||-20.00%|
|8. DeNA Travel (Air Link)||45.87||1.90%|
|9. Travel Plaza Intl (JTB)||39.82||-13.00%|
|10. JTB Business Solutions||36.43||6.60%|
While the monthly figures for 2015 continue to be processed, the overall data for 2014 are complete and, here and there, there are some interesting points to contemplate.
—Proportionate to their share of the nation’s total population (124.4 million), Japanese women 25-29 (a key demographic component of the “Office Women” market) travel the most, with 27 percent of them taking overseas trips.
—Proportionate to their share of the nation’s total population, more residents of the Tokyo prefecture—26.5 percent—traveled abroad than did residents of other prefectures.
—Greater Tokyo airports (Narita and Haneda) were the most used by overseas travelers, with 10.6 million overseas departures (62.54 percent of the nation’s total) taking place from the two airports
—Of the nation’s total male population, 44.24 percent fall into the 40-to-59-year-old category
—Of the nation’s total female population, 41.43 percent fall into the 20-to-39-year-old category
—The 65-to-69-year-old age group continues to expand—it grew by 1.9 percent in 2014.
—The population of the overall senior segment (65 and older) is 33,840,000, comprising a total share of 26.7 percent.