As has every other major overseas source market for the United States, Japan and its travel and tourism industry are experiencing a year of decline due to the COVID-19-driven global pandemic. In its just published Japan Travel Market Update 2020, Phocuswright, which notes that the Japanese market experienced gross bookings of $104.4 billion in 2019—it is the second largest travel market in Asia, behind only China—a is projected to decline by $56.6 billion, (or 54.2 percent) in 2020.
Such a projection is especially hurtful, as the Japanese travel trade and the nation as a whole had been looking forward to hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, which have been postponed until next year. news media has not speculated that much on the issue
Note: OTA and suppliers direct online shares may not equal online penetration due to rounding.
Source: Japan Travel Market Update 2020
© 2020 Phocuswright Inc. All Rights Reserved
Aside from the expected decline in travel activity and travel bookings in 2020, Phocuswright takes note of other developments that, otherwise, might have received greater attention were it not for the impact of the global pandemic.
For instance, Japan, which was once a leader in online penetration, now has the lowest online share of travel gross bookings among all major travel markets in the Asia-Pacific region (including Australia/New Zealand, China and India). In 2020, Phocuswright projected, online penetration is predicted to grow incrementally in Japan but will remain well below the 50 percent mark, primarily due to the Japanese preference for booking rail offline through kiosks. “While online bookings in Japan are gaining traction, offline channels, including traditional retail agencies, remain vital,” said Phocuswright, pointing out that, “In 2020, 55 percent of travel bookings will be made offline.”
Also, the company noted, “Suppliers will continue to command a greater share of the online market due to the presence of strong brands in the air and rail segments. OTAs have a considerable lead in online hotel distribution, and have benefited greatly from the surge in inbound tourism. Due to their unique strengths, suppliers and OTAs maintained their online market shares, at 59 percent and 41 percent, respectively, for five years, through 2019.”
However, Phocuswright explained, as more travelers lean towards booking direct amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, suppliers will gain in the short term, taking their share of the online market to 61 percent in 2020. Click here for details on how to purchase Phocuswright’s Japan Travel Market Update 2020.