1. Home
  2. Surveys
  3. Surveys (Back number)
  4. JATA Independent Surveys

JATA Independent Surveys


(December 20, 2006)

19th JATA Survey on Travel Market Trends (December 2006)

Airline fuel surcharges cause overseas travel DI to retreat to the minus side Domestic DI improves further, moving into the plus column Both overseas and domestic travel markets expected to decline in next three months

In order to better assess prevailing business conditions, JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents) keeps abreast of changes in the travel market by carrying out a quarterly survey of market trends among member companies, indexed by type of travel, destination and customer segment. (A digest of the survey appears below.)
According to the "19th JATA Survey on Travel Market Trends" conducted from late October to mid-November 2006, the overseas travel market once again fell into negative territory, deteriorating further than anticipated compared to the previous survey. On the other hand, the domestic travel market succeeded in entering the plus column. Over the next three months, both the overseas and domestic travel markets are expected to move into minus territory.

Business activity for the overseas travel market as a whole

While China continued to expand further, a marked decline in travel to Europe, the U.S. and other long-haul destinations resulted in the Overseas Travel DI on the whole deteriorating further than forecast and retreating into minus territory.
Over the next three months the DI is expected to continue to decline.

Current situation: While China continues its upward trend, airline fuel surcharges and other deleterious influences are causing declines in demand for other destinations, resulting in a sharp drop in the Overseas Travel DI.

  • "There is a sense that the summer season drive has lost momentum. We can also expect Japanese carrier airfare increases due to fuel surcharges to have a substantial impact after October." (Opinion of overseas travel wholesaler)
  • "Only the favorable China travel market is helping to offset the overall slump in long-haul travel." (Opinion of overseas travel wholesaler)
  • While rising 9 points compared with the same period (October to December) last year, the overall Overseas Travel DI retreated 15 points, falling once again below predicted levels.

Outlook for the next three months (January to March 2006): Europe, North America and other long-haul routes are not expected to improve and China market expansion will likely cease.

  • "With the currency exchange problem, Europe is in a slump." (Opinion of overseas travel wholesaler)
  • "Market demand for China is as high as ever for many destinations, not just a select few." (Opinion of in-house agency)
  • In three months' time (January to March), there is a possibility the DI may slip further, absent any factors capable of pulling the overseas travel market out of the doldrums.

Summary

  • Although business and leisure travel to China continued to expand, the overseas travel market as a whole deteriorated further than previously predicted as a result of marked increases in airfares due to fuel surcharges, coupled with the lackluster performance of European, U.S. and other long-haul routes.
    In three months' time (January to March), the DI is likely to continue to slip further.

Change in Combined Demand for All Destinations
2005
2005
2006
2007
Oct.-Dec.
Apr.-June
July-Sept.
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.
Apr.-June
July-Sept.
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.
2
-8
-12
-15
-18
0
9
-6
-11
*5
*Indicates figures from the September 2006 Survey

Trends in overseas travel demand (by customer segment)

Although other segments fell, the DI for incentive, business and inspection tour travel rose, with business and inspection tour travel staying out of the minus column.
Over the next three months, the family travel segment is expected to do well.

  • Compared to three months ago (July to September), the customer segment DI rose 6 points thanks to strong activity in the incentive, business and inspection tour travel segment. Business and inspection tour travel moved out of minus territory. All other segments declined, with the family travel segment falling 31 points as the summer vacation period ended, and the female office worker segment dropping 18 points. In spite of these setbacks, results for all other segments exceeded those for the same period (October to December) last year.
  • In three months' time (January to March), the honeymoon, incentive, business and inspection tour travel segments are expected to decline, while the family travel segment should rise approximately 10 points.
2005
2006
2007
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.
Apr.-June
July-Sept.
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.

Honeymoon

-29
-42
-30
-33
-38
-43

Family

-35
-31
-20
-2
-33
-24

Female office worker

-31
-38
-28
-17
-35
-32

Middle-aged (45-59)

-16
-14
-1
-1
-10
-7

Senior (60 and over)

-6
-10
4
1
-1
-4

Incentive

-28
-34
-22
-31
-25
-31

Business / technical visit

0
-10
-2
-4
2
-5


Trends in overseas travel demand (by destination segment)

The China market continues to grow, while the U.S., Canada and Europe face double-digit declines.
In three months, double-digit declines are anticipated for Europe, and slumping demand will continue for the U.S., Canada, Oceania and Micronesia.

  • In comparison to the DI three months ago (July to September), China rose six points, with the DI reaching +17. On the other hand, other destinations fell markedly, with the U.S. and Canada declining 15 points, Europe 10 points, and Asia 8 points.
    Compared to the same period (October to December) last year, China rose 38 points, and Europe and Asia were up more than 10 points, whereas the U.S. Mainland and Canada fell 22 points, and Hawaii declined 11 points.
  • Over the next three months (January to March), Chinese market growth is likely to cease. An approximate 10-point decline is anticipated for Europe and Micronesia, and continued sluggishness can be expected for the U.S., Canada and Oceania markets.
2005
2006
2007
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.
Apr.-June
July-Sept.
Oct.-Dec.
Jan.-Mar.

Hawaii

-5
-17
-13
-12
-16
-14

USA (other)/ Canada

-18
-29
-20
-25
-40
-39

Europe

-21
-21
-2
3
-7
-21

Oceania

-25
-29
-36
-36
-33
-35

Micronesia

-26
-20
-18
-24
-26
-35

China

-21
-32
-3
11
17
9

Asia (other)

-9
-11
0
9
1
-3


About the Survey on Travel Market Trends
In January 2006, JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents) asked all member companies to register as survey monitors and 541 companies did so.
The quarterly Survey on Travel Market Trends seeks to grasp trends in the market based on responses to a questionnaire on conditions now 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". Respondents indicate "do not handle" for items outside their business scope. 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" and "no reply" responses. Finally each share is processed into the Diffusion Index (DI). The highest possible index figure is +100, and the lowest is -100.
Survey Overview
Survey area: Japan nationwide
Survey target: JATA member company management
Survey method: Internet survey
Survey period: From Monday, October 30, 2006 to Monday, November 13
Registered companies: 541
Responding companies: 237
Response rate: 43.8%
Business Classification
The JATA Survey on Travel Market Trends analyzes business conditions based on business content. A definition of each business classification and the number of respondents to the survey is shown below.

Designation
Definition
Respondents
Full service travel agency A large-scale travel agency with a national network that provides a full range of travel products 26
Overseas travel wholesaler A dedicated overseas travel wholesaler 22
Overseas travel specialist agency A travel agency with a business volume of more than 5 billion yen, 80% of which is related to overseas travel 11
Domestic travel wholesaler A dedicated domestic travel wholesaler 11
First-tier retail agency Other than the above, a travel agency with a business volume of 3 billion yen or higher 29
Second-tier retail agency Other than the above, a travel agency with a business volume of less than 3 billion yen 98
In-house travel agency A travel agency which mainly handles travel arrangements for its parent company 40

Page top