The Good News … is that there is no Bad News: Released earlier this month, the latest Survey of Travel Market Trends by the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), a survey taken as the third quarter of 2016 came to a close, tells U.S. travel suppliers that the assessment of market conditions by the Japanese travel trade, based on the outlook for bookings and current sales performance, is about the same as it was for Q2. And, they reported, it looks about the same through the spring of 2017.
Based on JATA’s complicated Diffusion Index† (see explanation at end of article), Hawaii remains and looks to remain a strong international destination for Japanese overseas travelers. There is no narrative on what to expect for the USA, only the numbers, which suggest a performance at the same level as in previous months.
However, the Japan-savvy travel marketer should consider taking a look at what the Japanese travel trade has to say about its sharply defined market segments. In the final quarter of 2016:
—Student tours will drop sharply, losing 8 points.
—Family tours will also decline, losing 7 points.
—Business/technical visits will grow by 2 points
—Senior travel will grow by 1 point.
—Incentive tours will gain 5 points.
—Honeymoon travel will grow by 4 points.
—Education tours will gain 4 points.
—Individual tours will decrease by 4 points,
—Female office workers will be 3 points down.
During the first quarter of 2017, demand for honeymoon tours will get on the recovery path and gain 5 points. Business/technical visits (+/-0) will not show a significant change and will maintain their high ranking. Education tours will increase by 3 points, female office workers by 2 points and students by 1 point. Family travel, incentive tours and senior travel are expected to lose 3, 2 and 1 point respectively while demand for individual travel will remain unchanged
Who is surveyed for the JATA Quarterly Market Trends Report? Answer: A definition of each business classification and the number of survey respondents are shown below.
†A Note on the Methodology and the DI (Diffusion Index): The JATA Survey of Travel Market Trends is designed to grasp trends in the travel market based on responses to questions on current conditions and those anticipated over the next three months. The survey asks participating companies to rate their sales results for each destination and customer segment by choosing from three categories: “good,” “average,” and “poor.” For items outside their business scope, respondents select “do not handle.” Each share of “good,” “average,” and “poor” is then divided respectively by the denominator, which is equal to the total number of responses minus the “do not handle” (including “no reply”) responses. Finally, each share is processed into the Diffusion Index (DI) by subtracting the percentage of “poor” from the percentage of “good.” The highest possible index figure is +100, and the lowest is -100. The survey which produced this quarter’s results was taken from Aug. 8 to Aug. 29, 2016. Registered companies: 532 Responding companies: 309; response rate: 58.1 percent.