The COVID-19 pandemic forces most of us to stay at home and travel domestically and to destinations near where we live. The number of Japanese overseas travelers in July 2020 was about 20,000, which declined by 98.8% compared to the previous year.
From July 2020, the number of Japanese overseas travelers is gradually recovering as a result of the easing of restrictions on the entry of Japanese to Europe. However, restrictions on re-entry to Japan and difficulties in international air travel encourages people to travel domestically.
Agoda has joined the Japanese government’s GOTO Travel initiative and launched its GoLocal domestic travel campaign in Japan, to incentivize and support local destinations through responsible domestic travel.
“People are keen to travel again and to support their local tourism by either rediscovering old haunts or visiting new places within Japan. The beauty of Japan is the diversity of all that is on offer, both nationwide and within each region,” said Hiroto Ooka, Agoda Associate Vice President, North Asia, Partner Services.
Agoda announced the results of its Go Local survey that found out the most popular regions that travelers would like to visit on their next trip.
“Hokkaido is the top spot to visit again and again, and I am not surprised, because the area offers such a diverse range of activities to do whatever time of the year. Whether it’s skiing in the winter, enjoying the autumnal leaves in October, the geothermal springs in early Spring, or the festivals in Sapparo year-round, even returning to the same place can uncover a host of new activities to do during different seasons, and with Agoda’s GoLocal great deals, there are plenty of places to stay, ” added Hiroto Ooka.
In second place is Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Kyushu, including modern cities like Fukuoka, as well as the Okinawa islands grabs second spot. With brilliant blue waters, some of the most famous diving spots in the world and top-notch cuisine, it’s no surprise that Okinawa remains a firm domestic favourite. Don’t miss the chance to sample Okinawa’s famous Awamori, distilled liquor made from rice. Whether travelers are looking for history, natural beauty or magnificent beaches, Agoda has with a wide range of properties that cater for families, solo travelers, groups of friends on a Joshi Tabi trip and everything in between.
Next up is western Japan’s Kinki (Kansai) region, including the cities of Himeji, Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara. As the cultural and historical heart of Japan it’s no surprise that many Japanese are looking to visit here next. While international tourists can’t travel to hot spots like Kyoto, it’s the perfect time for Japanese travelers to rediscover these destinations’ key appeal and do so with fewer crowds.
Most Visited and Revisited Regions
Kanto is the topmost region visited by Japanese travelers, with 83% of Japanese travelers claiming to have visited previously. Kinki (72%) and Kyushu (62%) make the top three, followed by Chubu (57%), Hokkaido (56%), Tohoku (49%), Chugoku (48%) and Shikoku (43%). Interestingly, Kyushu (34%), Hokkaido (31%) and Kinki (21%) are the three destinations that the Japanese would want to return to again and again.
Relaxing Country-sides excursions trump city breaks
Nationally, Japanese domestic travelers (57%) want to visit the countryside most – while holidays to the cities (47%), and beach (40%) make the top three.
Japanese domestic travelers from Hokkaido, Tohoku and Shikoku are most likely to want to visit cities and metropolitan areas (65%), with 37% of Japanese from Hokkaido wanting to travel to Kanto on their next domestic trip.
The up-and-coming travel trend Joshi Tabi: female group travel
Traveling with friends is the joint-second most popular travel companion choice (18%) aligned with a partner (18%) after the family at 58% for Japanese travelers surveyed in general, with women more keen on traveling with friends than men (22% and 13% respectively).
Female domestic travelers are most likely to want to visit the countryside (55%), followed by 49% looking to explore cities and 39% hoping to visit the beaches. Hokkaido again came out on top (48%) as the preferred destination for female Japanese, followed by Kyushu (46%) and Kinki (27%). Kyushu nudges Hokkaido off the top stop for repeat visits for female Japanese, with Kinki in the third spot.
Additional GoLocal Survey Insights:
- 65% of Japanese travelers in Hokkaido, 57% in Tohoku, 54% in Chugoku, 44% in Kyushu would like to visit Cities and Metropolitan areas on their next domestic trip
- 57% of travelers in Japan want to visit a rural/countryside area, 47% would prefer cities, 40% would prefer a beach and 28% are excited to visit mountains on their next domestic trip
- 46% of Japanese would like to visit Hokkaido region on their next domestic trip, followed by Kyushu at 43% and then Kinki at 24%
- Looking at repeat visits, 34% of Japanese travelers would like to visit the Kyushu region again
- Hokkaido scored even higher as the preferred domestic destination for Japanese travelers from nearby Tohoku (48%), suggesting that Japanese are looking to GoLocal when it comes to domestic travel during this time. Followed closely by the 46% of travelers Japanese from Kanto who chose Hokkaido as their top choice
- Meanwhile those in Hokkaido are most likely to want to take a local city break (32%), compared with those in Tohoku (30%), Chugoku (18%) and Kyushu (45%)
- Looking at results by region, 37% of travelers from Hokkaido want to travel to Kanto on their next trip, with 32% saying they want to revisit the area
- Traveling with Family (58%) scoops the top spot for their next domestic trip, followed by travel with partner (18%), and their friends (18%).
- 37% of Japanese from Hokkaido want to travel to Kanto on their next domestic trip
- 48% of Japanese travelers from Tohoku want to travel to Hokkaido on their next domestic trip 46% of Japanese from Kanto want to travel to Hokkaido on their next domestic trip
- 32% of Japanese from Hokkaido want to revisit Kanto again