to International Market Profiles

Japan Market Profile

Japan is one of California’s most mature markets. Led by active baby boomers and enthusiastic young women, Japanese are traveling overseas in record numbers and showing a resurgence in interest in California culture, cuisine and scenic beauty. Language and security concerns lead many travelers to choose package tours over independent travel and California is well positioned as a primary destination by all of the major tour operators.


MAJOR TAKEAWAYS

  • 61 percent of bookings are done online.
  • Men over 50 seek to relive their youth through outdoor adventures such as surfing, hiking and biking.
  • Women 20-50 pursue “city escapes” featuring cosmopolitan experiences.
  • Theme parks are once again a popular option for families and young couples.

Japan Profile

562,000
In Person Trips, 2018
$1.108 Billion
Visitor Spending, 2018

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

GDP annual growth rate is estimated to grow 1% in 2018 and 1.3% in 2019 and 2020.

Exchange Rate

  • 1 Japanese Yen equals 0.0092 U.S. Dollar
  • The government favors a weaker Japanese Yen to encourage exports and improve profits at major corporations.
  • The Yen is seen as a safe haven currency for traders around the world but weakened periodically during 2018 as a result of improved global economy and an easing of tensions in north Asia.
  • The Yen traded in the 110–113 yen range for the majority of 2018.

Travel & Planning Methodologies

AIRLIFT

  • 116 weekly non stop flights
  • 30,000 weekly non stop seats (+4.0%)
  • Non stop flights from six airlines to four gateway cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose

BOOKING

  • Planning timeframe: two to six months
  • Booking timeframe: one to three months
  • 61% of all travelers book online
  • 40% book package or group tours and demand is growing again for all-inclusive tours over FIT “free style” packages
  • All of the largest 25 tour operators package California
  • There is solid demand for escorted group tours for seniors showcasing California’s natural beauty.
     

Market Barriers & Risk Factors


Competitive Landscape


Other Market Insights

MARKET

  • Outbound travel continues to grow. Travel was up 4.5% in 2017 and is expected to be up 5% in 2018.

PRODUCT EXPERIENCE

  • Desire for Instagram-worthy travel experiences, especially among young women, is a major motivator of travel.
  • Demand for travel to locations offering magnificent scenic views for all demographics remains strong.
  • Once-in-a-lifetime trips and luxury travel experiences among travelers over 50 and Japan’s small, but growing high net worth segment are an established niche segment.
  • Solo travelers account for nearly one-quarter of the outbound market and 30% of women aged 30–45.
  • Theme parks have resurged in popularity among young people, couples and three-generation families.
  • All Japanese have a passion for varied and rich culinary experiences, “living like a local” and healthy lifestyle activities/products.

AUDIENCE

  • The desire to relive their youth is strong among men over 50, including taking part in outdoor activities such as surfing, biking, hiking and motorcycle riding.
  • Women 20–50 are seeking girlfriend “city escapes” featuring culinary, shopping, health and beauty experiences.

Sources

  • International Monetary Fund
  • Tradingeconomics.com
  • Cabinet Office, Japan
  • xe.com
  • DIIO
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tourism Economics
  • CIC Research, Inc.
  • JTB Report on Overseas Travel 2017
  • Japan National Tourism Organization