The results of the latest Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) quarterly survey of the Japanese travel trade suggests that the outlook for Visit USA/North America traffic from the second largest overseas source market for the United States is not much different for the peak travel months of July through September 2017 than it was a year ago (April through June 2016). In fact, the numbers have not changed very much in the past three years. What changes there are in the quarterly report appear to be in the market segments within the Japanese population. (We’ve included the two most important tables from the survey below. It’s relatively easy to translate the value of the numbers in the tables; just refer to “A Note on Methodology” following the tables.)
The Staying Power of the Senior Segment: Compared to the previous quarter (October–December, 2016), the senior market is 20 points better and is the best performing segment at present. The family, students and solo travel segments have gotten stronger by 10, 17 and 8 points respectively. By improving by 4 and 2 points respectively, working women and students segments have not shown any sizeable changes. During the April–June quarter, seniors will still lead the travel demand. Incentive travel and business/technical visits will improve by 18 and 5 points correspondingly. Honeymooners will be 8 points stronger, working women will grow by 5 points and solo travelers will improve by 5 points.
A Note on Methodology: The Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) asks all member companies to register as survey monitors. JATA conducts the quarterly Survey of Travel Market Trends involving 548 registered companies and publishes the results. The 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.
This was an Internet survey, conducted from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23, 2017. The number of registered companies surveyed was 567; the number of responding companies responding was 282. Response rate: 49.7 percent.