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JATA Independent Surveys

(December 15, 2010)
Overseas DI fell over the period under review however Domestic DI continued to improve.
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 early to mid November 2010, Overseas DI, which had continued to increase over five consecutive periods up until three months ago (July to September) started to fall. Domestic DI continued to improve as it has over four consecutive periods. Both Overseas and Domestic DI is expected to fall over the following three months (January to March).


Business Activity for the Overseas Travel Market Overall

The fall in travel to China in particular is pronounced while travel to Micronesia, Korea and Oceania continues to improve.
Over the following three months, the student segment is expected to improve with the upcoming student holiday season.


Current Situation: The honeymoon segment is showing strong growth. Although there is a sharp fall in travel demand for China, Micronesia, Korea and Oceania all showed improvement.
"Travel to Korea has become a lot more affordable on the back of the cheap Won."(Full-service travel agency)
"Although the situation is improving, issues concerning the Senkaku Islands have resulted in some instability in China."(Full-service travel agency)
"New Caledonia is performing strongly with the honeymoon segment in particular moving well."(Overseas travel wholesaler)
DI for the overseas travel market overall dropped 10 points to -16 compared to that of the previous three months (July to September). Looking at the separate travel service providers, the zero or positive growth in DI for overseas travel wholesalers and in-house travel agencies is a trend of particular note.

Outlook for the Next Three Months (January to March): The student segment is expected to grow with an outlook for increased demand fueled by the student holiday season.
"We are expecting an increase in numbers to Asian destinations as a result of the increase in the number of international flights from Haneda Airport."(Overseas travel wholesaler)
"Demand is expected to increase with the new flights to Honolulu out of Haneda Airport."(Overseas travel specialist agency)
"Bookings are strong for graduation and student holidays."(In-house travel agency)
Overseas DI is expected to drop three points to -19 over the following three months (January to March).

Summary
In addition to the close of Expo Shanghai 2010, issues concerning the Senkaku Islands resulted in a sharp drop in demand for travel to China. On the other hand, there were some favorable conditions including the strong yen and the opening of new international routes out of Haneda Airport. Results were comparable to the three-month outlook made in the previous survey.



(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 -64 -80 -72 -66 -50 -30 -6 -16 -19
*-17





* Prospective figures for September 2010 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 -76 -60 -46 -33 -14 21 14 11
Overseas travel wholesaler -84 -72 -83 -68 -53 -15 0 0
Overseas travel specialist agency -100 -73 -89 -63 -25 9 -7 -6
First-tier retail agency -77 -86 -64 -64 -17 16 8 -6
Second-tier retail agency -74 -71 -67 -50 -37 -23 -39 -36
In-house travel agency

-95 -72 -65 -36 -28 -2 2 -15

Trends in Overseas Travel Demand (by customer segment)

In the period under review, the honeymoon segment increased by seven points.
The family, senior and student segments all dropped by 10 points or more.
The student and female office worker segments are predicted to increase over the following three months.

In comparison with the three months from July to September, the honeymoon segment increased seven points however DI for all other segments fell. The family segment in particular fell 18 points, followed by the senior segment and the student segment at 13 points and 11 points respectively.
Over the following three months (January to March) the student segment is predicted to increase by 16 points with the upcoming student holiday season. The female office worker segment is also predicted to increase by five points. The incentive and honeymoon segments are expected to fall nine points and seven points respectively.



  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 -57 -54 -43 -36 -29 -36
Family -66 -65 -47 -17 -35 -34
Female office worker -66 -59 -49 -33 -36 -31
Students -75 -63 -60 -48 -59 -43
Senior* -33 -31 -15 5 -8 -10
Incentive** -78 -71 -54 -33 -35 -44
Business /technical visit -70 -63 -36 -17 -25 -27
*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)

At present, Korea is performing strongly with Micronesia and Oceania also showing increases.
On the other hand, Overseas DI for China dropped drastically by more than 60 points.
Over the next three months, Micronesia, America/Canada and Korea should drop slightly while all other destinations should remain fairly stable.

In comparison with the three months from July to September, China posted a drastic drop of 63 points while Europe also fell 13 points. On the other hand, DI for Asia remained in positive territory with Korea showing growth of seven points. Micronesia also increased by nine points followed by Oceania at six points.
Over the next three months (January to March) Oceania and Hawaii are expected to show a slight increase. Micronesia, America/Canada and Korea are all expected to drop by 5-6 points while China should drop another two points.



  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 -61 -50 -36 -14 -16 -15
USA / Canada -75 -69 -44 -31 -35 -40
Europe -50 -39 -28 2 -11 -13
Oceania -78 -65 -61 -47 -41 -39
Micronesia -60 -53 -43 -35 -26 -32
China -43 -35 -1 15 -48 -50
Asia -41 -23 -15 4 2 1
(Korea) - - - 7 14 9

About the Survey on Travel Market Trends

JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents) asked all member companies to register as survey monitors and 612 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, November 1, 2010 to Monday, November 15, 2010
Registered companies: 612
Responding companies: 302
Response rate: 49.3%


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 31
Overseas travel wholesaler A dedicated overseas travel wholesaler 25
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 14
First-tier retail agency Other than the above, a travel agency with a business volume of 3 billion yen or higher 36
Second-tier retail agency

Other than the above, a travel agency with a business volume of less than 3 billion yen 132
In-house travel agency A travel agency which mainly handles travel arrangements for its parent company 49

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