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JATA Independent Surveys

(December 16, 2009)
Overseas DI is showing signs of recovery with Asian destinations performing strongly. However Domestic DI continued to fall on the back of decreases in highway toll charges and increased controls on corporate business trips.
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 October to early November 2009, Overseas DI continued to show signs of recovery however, Domestic DI continued to fall.


Business Activity for the Overseas Travel Market Overall

Overseas DI improved with Asian destinations including Korea and Taiwan performing strongly and business travel revealing an upward trend. Despite concerns including the current business climate, Overseas DI is expected to continue to improve over the following three months.


Current Situation: Overseas DI continues to improve due to increased demand for travel to Asian destinations and an upward trend in business travel.
"Demand for travel to Asian destinations is growing steadily with short haul destinations, in particular Korea and Taiwan, enjoying strong growth." (Overseas travel wholesaler)
"Business travel is increasing compared with the first half of 2009." (In-house travel agency)
"Current price wars in the travel market are bringing down travel costs." (Second-tier retail agency)
DI for the overseas travel market overall rose six points to -66 compared to that of the previous three months (July to September).

Outlook for the Next Three Months (January to March): The outlook for the next three months is for moderate growth however bookings remain relatively flat.
"Bookings for travel over the year end and New Year period are at an unprecedented low." (First-tier retail agency)
"We have seen a reduction in advanced bookings with bookings within one month of the travel date increasing." (First-tier retail agency)
Overseas Travel DI is expected to rise four points over the next three months (January to March) with an outlook for continued moderate growth.

Summary
The overseas travel market is showing signs of a comeback on the back of increased travel demand for Asian destinations and the recovery of the business travel market. Despite a fall in bookings over the year end and New Year period, last minute bookings are expected to increase and the outlook for the next three months is for continued growth.



(Units: DI)

 

2 years ago (Oct to Dec) 1.5 years ago (Apr to Jun) 15 months ago (Jul to Sep) 1 year ago (Oct to Dec) 9 months ago (Jan to Mar) 6 months ago (Apr to Jun) 3 months ago (Jul to Sep) Current (Oct to Dec) Next 3 months (Jan to Mar)
All foreign travel -11 -53 -62 -64 -72 -80 -72 -66 -62
*-59





* Prospective figures for Sep 2009 survey

 

1.5 years ago (Apr to Jun) 15 months ago (Jul to Sep) 1 year ago (Oct to Dec) 9 months ago (Jan to Mar) 6 months ago (Apr to Jun) 3 months ago (Jul to Sep) Current
(Oct to Dec)
Next 3 months (Jan to Mar)
Full- service travel agency -67 -81 -81 -66 -76 -60 -46 -60
Overseas travel wholesaler -73 -82 -87 -85 -84 -72 -83 -78
Overseas travel specialist agency -28 -64 -64 -82 -100 -73 -89 -56
First-tier retail agency -71 -73 -80 -81 -77 -86 -64 -64
Second-tier retail agency -48 -60 -53 -62 -74 -71 -67 -59
In-house travel agency

-39 -36 -54 -84 -95 -72 -65 -61

Trends in Overseas Travel Demand (by customer segment)

Both the business/technical and senior market segments improved by approximately 10 points. Over the next three months, the student segment is expected to rise 12 points fueled by the upcoming student holiday season.

In comparison with the three months from July to September, customer segment DI for the business/technical visit and senior segments increased by approximately 10 points. With the exception of the family segment, which fell six points following the end of the summer vacation period, there was no noticeable movement in any of the other customer segments. Compared to the same time last year, the business/technical visit segment fell 19 points with the incentive segment also dropping six points. However, the senior and family segments rose 18 points and 12 points respectively with the student and female office worker segments also finishing 6-7 points higher.
Although the student segment is expected to increase by 12 points over the next three months (January to March) with the upcoming student holiday season, the business/technical visit and senior segments are predicted to fall by five points with the honeymoon and family segments also likely to drop.



  1 year ago (Oct to Dec) 9 months ago (Jan to Mar) 6 months ago (Apr to Jun) 3 months ago (Jul to Sep) Current (Oct to Dec) Next 3 months (Jan to Mar)
Honeymoon -56 -52 -68 -59 -57 -60
Family -78 -74 -77 -60 -66 -69
Female office worker -72 -69 -73 -63 -66 -65
Students -82 -63 -82 -73 -75 -63
Senior* -51 -46 -62 -42 -33 -37
Incentive** -72 -79 -88 -81 -78 -78
Business /technical visit -51 -73 -86 -80 -70 -75
*Senior: Customers aged 60 or over.
**Incentive: Travel offered as an incentive to business and organization employees.
Trends in Overseas Travel Demand (by destination segment)

China rose by 16 points with Asia also showing robust growth. Over the next three months China is expected to remain steady while America/Canada is expected to continue to fall.

In comparison with the three months from July to September, China increased by 16 points while Oceania, America/Canada and Asia all rose by approximately five points. On the other hand, Micronesia and Hawaii fell by six points and one point respectively. Compared to the same period last year, China showed a significant increase of 28 points. Europe and Asia were up by seven points, Hawaii by six points and Micronesia by two points over figures from last year. Only America/Canada and Oceania fell short of figures from the previous year.
Over the next three months (January to March) China, a destination which has performed strongly over the last nine months is expected to remain relatively stagnant while the outlook for America/Canada is for a two point fall.



  1 year ago (Oct to Dec) 9 months ago (Jan to Mar) 6 months ago (Apr to Jun) 3 months ago (Jul to Sep) Current (Oct to Dec) Next 3 months (Jan to Mar)
Hawaii -67 -63 -71 -60 -61 -59
USA / Canada -65 -79 -84 -80 -75 -77
Europe -57 -70 -67 -53 -50 -52
Oceania -73 -76 -79 -84 -78 -74
Micronesia -62 -61 -68 -54 -60 -59
China -71 -82 -68 -59 -43 -47
Asia -48 -39 -58 -45 -41 -40

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 617 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 26, 2009 to Monday, November 9, 2009
Registered companies: 617
Responding companies: 217
Response rate: 35.2%


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 34
Overseas travel wholesaler A dedicated overseas travel wholesaler 23
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 9
Domestic travel wholesaler A dedicated domestic travel wholesaler 6
First-tier retail agency Other than the above, a travel agency with a business volume of 3 billion yen or higher 27
Second-tier retail agency

Other than the above, a travel agency with a business volume of less than 3 billion yen 86
In-house travel agency A travel agency which mainly handles travel arrangements for its parent company 32

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