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JATA Independent Surveys

(September 16, 2009)
Although Domestic DI has continued to fall, Overseas DI has seen a slight recovery due to the impact of the abolishment of fuel surcharges.
Headline


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 travel type, destination and customer segment.
(An overview of the survey results is provided below)
According to the “JATA Survey on Travel Market Trends” conducted from late July to mid August 2009, Domestic DI continued to fall, however, Overseas DI saw a slight recovery in line with increased calm over the H1N1 flu.


Business Activity for the Overseas Travel Market Overall

The overseas travel market saw a slight recovery over the months from July to September on the back of the abolition of fuel surcharges, increased calm over the H1N1 flu and the long string of consecutive holidays in Japan in September. Despite this trend, the H1N1 flu and fuel surcharges still pose a threat to the overseas travel market.


Current Situation: After a long wait, increased calm over the H1N1 flu has seen a rise in overseas travel demand.
"The total abolition of fuel surcharges has led to an increase in travel demand." (In-house travel agency)
"The overseas travel market is gradually recovering following increased calm over the H1N1 flu." (Second-tier retail agency)
"Figures for September should cover the shortfall over July and August." (Full-service travel agency)
The falling DI recovered eight points to return to -72 as was forecast three months ago (April to June).

Outlook for the Next Three Months (October to December): Although the upward trend is expected to continue, the H1N1 flu and fuel surcharges still remain a point of concern.
"The entire travel market will suffer in the event of another outbreak of the H1N1 flu." (Full-service travel agency)
"Information about the reintroduction of fuel surcharges in October is having a negative impact on bookings." (Second-tier retail agency)
DI is predicted to increase a further 13 points over the following three months (October to December).

Summary
Demand welcomed by the abolition of fuel surcharges was concentrated over the string of consecutive holidays in September. Although the upward trend is expected to continue over the next three months, the current survey indicates responses from July 24 through August 11, and there is still concern over the impact another outbreak of the H1N1 flu and the reintroduction of fuel surcharges may have on the travel market.


(Units: DI)

 

2 years ago (Jul to Sep) 1.5 years ago (Jan to Mar) 15 months ago (Apr to Jun) 1 year ago (Jul to Sep) 9 months ago (Oct to Dec) 6 months ago (Jan to Mar) 3 months ago (Apr to Jun) Current (Jul to Sep) Next 3 months (Oct to Dec)
All foreign travel -7 -33 -53 -62 -64 -72 -80 -72 -59
*-72





* Prospective figures for Mar 2009 survey

 

1.5 years ago (Jan to Mar) 15 months ago (Apr to Jun) 1 year ago (Jul to Sep) 9 months ago (Oct to Dec) 6 months ago (Jan to Mar) 3 months ago (Apr to Jun) Current
(Jul to Sep)
Next 3 months (Oct to Dec)
Full- service travel agency -47 -67 -81 -81 -661 -76 -60 -54
Overseas travel wholesaler -42 -73 -82 -67 -85 -84 -72 -78
Overseas travel specialist agency -63 -28 -64 -64 -82 -100 -73 -67
First-tier retail agency -40 -71 -73 -80 -81 -77 -66 -69
Second-tier retail agency -27 -48 -60 -53 -62 -74 -71 -56
In-house travel agency

-13 -39 -36 -54 -84 -95 -72 -60

Trends in Overseas Travel Demand (by customer segment)

All customer segments improved over the three months under review including the senior and family segments. A further increase of more than 10 points is forecast in the incentive, business/technical visit and senior segments over the next three months.

In comparison with the three months from April to June, customer segment DI for the senior and family segments increased by 20 points and 17 points respectively while the female office worker, honeymoon and student segments all rose by approximately 10 points. Although by a smaller margin, the incentive and business/technical visit segments also increased. Compared to the same time last year, the business/technical visit segment fell a massive 52 points and the incentive segment fell by 23 points.
however, the female office worker and family segments rose 10 points and seven points respectively.
Although the family segment is expected to drop six points over the next three months (October to December), the incentive, business/technical visit and senior segments are predicted to rise more than 10 points while the honeymoon segments is also expected to increase by eight points. .



  1 year ago (Jul to Sep) 9 months ago (Oct to Dec) 6 months ago (Jan to Mar) 3 months ago (Apr to Jun) Current (Jul to Sep) Next 3 months (Oct to Dec)
Honeymoon -63 -56 -52 -68 -59 -51
Family -67 -78 -74 -77 -60 -66
Female office worker -73 -72 -69 -73 -63 -61
Students -74 -82 -63 -82 -73 -72
Senior -38 -51 -461 -62 -42 -32
Incentive -58 -72 -79 -88 -61 -69
Business /technical visit -28 -51 -73 -86 -60 -69

Trends in Overseas Travel Demand (by destination segment)

With the exception of a five point fall for Oceania and a four point increase for the America/Canada, DI for all destinations saw an increase of approximately 10 points. This upward trend is expected to continue for China and Europe over the next three months.

In comparison with the three months from April to June, Europe, Micronesia, Asia and Hawaii all increased by 11-14 points while China rose nine points. On the other hand, America/Canada stalled at four points while Oceania fell five points with the DI for both these destinations bottoming out at around -80. Compared to the same period last year, China and Hawaii showed increases of 11 points and seven points respectively while America/Canada fell 12 points.
Although China recorded the lowest DI of all destinations six months ago, it has since shown signs of recovery and is expected to increase a further 10 points over the next three months (October to December) to come back in line with other destinations such as Asia and Europe. Europe and Oceania are both expected to increase by eight points while America/Canada is also forecast to improve by four points over the next three months.



  1 year ago (Jul to Sep) 9 months ago (Oct to Dec) 6 months ago (Jan to Mar) 3 months ago (Apr to Jun) Current (Jul to Sep) Next 3 months (Oct to Dec)
Hawaii -67 -67 -63 -71 -60 -59
USA / Canada -68 -65 -79 -84 -80 -76
Europe -49 -57 -70 -67 -53 -45
Oceania -80 -73 -76 -79 -84 -76
Micronesia -57 -62 -61 -68 -54 -54
China -70 -71 -82 -68 -59 -49
Asia -41 -48 -39 -58 -45 -44

About the Survey on Travel Market Trends

In January 2009, JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents) asked all member companies to register as survey monitors and 620 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 Friday, July 24, 2009 to Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Registered companies: 620
Responding companies: 230
Response rate: 37.1%


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 32
Overseas travel wholesaler A dedicated overseas travel wholesaler 18
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 15
Domestic travel wholesaler A dedicated domestic travel wholesaler 7
First-tier retail agency Other than the above, a travel agency with a business volume of 3 billion yen or higher 31
Second-tier retail agency

Other than the above, a travel agency with a business volume of less than 3 billion yen 83
In-house travel agency A travel agency which mainly handles travel arrangements for its parent company 44

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