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JATA Independent Surveys


(August 26, 2002)

FIFA World Cup Puts Brakes on Recovery

1st JATA Survey on Travel Market Trends

According to the recently released "JATA Survey on Travel Market Trends," it has become clear that there was a sudden slowing down in the recovery of demand for overseas travel in June. The market has been recovering in stages from the sudden drop in demand for overseas travel that resulted from the terrorist attacks in the U.S. last year. However, there was a tendency for consumers to reduce their overseas travel plans during the period that the FIFA World Cup was held in Japan, and this had a strong effect on the whole market.
In the past JATA conducted "JATA Survey on Product Trends" every 3 months, but now is employing a survey method using the internet. This is the first time this new survey method has been employed. An explanation of the survey method used is outlined at the end of this report. JATA intends to carry out this new form of survey every 3 months from now on.

Change in Combined Demand for All Destinations
2000
2001
2002
July-Sept.
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.
Apr.-June
July-Sept.
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.
Apr.-June
July-Sept.
+5
+5
-1
-22
-43
-90
-58
-50
-34

The first survey has been carried out focusing on the market movement from April to June this year, and the diffusion index (DI) for combined demand during this period was -50. The previous form of survey showed that the DI for the period from October to December last year was -90, so we can say that there has been a 40 point improvement in half a year. However, from the DI of -58 for the first 3 months of this year, the latest survey only shows an improvement of 8 points, and the figure still has not reached the level recorded before the terrorist attacks of last year.
Looking at the comments of the respondents, many of them indicate that the situation is still delicate. In addition, there are a lot of replies that point out the effect of the World Cup.

-
The influence of the terrorist attacks has disappeared, but there is now a deeply rooted feeling of unease about the economy in consumers' minds, and as a result the recovery of demand looks like being a long slow process.
- Demand seems to have got back to its previous level, but there is not yet any strength in the market.
- Due to the World Cup the demand for June was very slow. In particular, the destinations relatively close to Japan seemed to suffer the most.

As to the prospects for the period from July to September, the DI for combined demand showed -34, and this is an improvement of 16 points over the -50 for the period from April to June. It seems that demand for overseas travel will continue to recover steadily.

Demand for "Business" Sees Sharp Increase
On a customer-based breakdown, evry single traveler group exceeds the figure shown in the previous survey. In particular, the January to March figure of -78 for "Business" went to -35 in the present survey and this is an improvement of 43 points. The prospects for the movements in the market from July to September also indicate an overall improvement.

2001
2002
Apr.-June
July-Sept.
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.
Apr.-June
July-Sept.

Honeymoon

-29
-37
-91
-67
-46
-40

Family

-27
-2
-96
-67
-44
-30

Young women

-42
-35
-98
-52
-47
-38

Middle-aged (45-59)

-9
+8
-96
-38
-25
-20

Seniors (60 and over)

-7
+8
-98
-34
-14
-14

Incentives

-51
-48
-100
-83
-66
-59

Business

-53
-56
-95
-78
-35
-27

North America Shows Sign of Recovery
On a destination basis, the figure for demand to travel to European countries jumped from -48 to -23 due to the popularity with the seniors (60 and over) and the middle-aged group (45 to 59). The U.S. and Canada saw a jump from -88 to -70, up 18 points. Continuingly popular China saw a DI of +23, a quite high figure. But the figures for Oceania went from -7 to -34, a dramatic drop of 27 points.
Trends in the market from July to September, based on predicted figures, show all destinations having better figures than those for April to June. In particular, the demand for travel to Asia, including China, is expected to be substantial.

2001
2002
Apr.-June
July-Sept.
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.
Apr.-June
July-Sept.

Hawaii

-40
-41
-98
-56
-63
-51

USA (other)/ Canada

-52
-67
-100
-88
-70
-63

Europe

-28
+2
-98
-48
-23
-20

Oceania

-35
-8
-67
-7
-34
-28

Micronesia

-21
-13
-91
-35
-51
-43

China

+13
+17
-40
+23
+23
+26

Asia (other)

+13
+8
-61
-2
-13
-4


Survey Outline
The survey was carried out from June 25 to July 3 this year. Questionnaires were sent via the internet to 675 JATA member companies, 178 of which replied.
The survey asked the companies to grade their sales results for each destination and customer category by choosing from three grades - "good," "average" and "poor" - while indicating "do not handle" for items outside their business scope. In determining the index for each category, the percentages of "good" and "poor" responses as compared to the total number of valid responses (which also included "average") were decided. The figure representing the percentage for "poor" was then subtracted from that representing "good" to provide the index figure.
The highest possible index figure is +100 and the lowest, -100.

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