Pushed out Hawaii and ‘surprisingly ranked first’… Japanese 20-somethings stuck in Seoul 

In the aftermath of the record low yen, Japanese people are hesitant to travel abroad, and even if they go abroad, they mostly visit nearby countries such as Korea and Taiwan. Thanks to the absolute popularity of people in their 20s, Seoul surpassed Honolulu, Hawaii, which was the most visited tourist destination by Japanese people before the spread of Corona 19, and rose to the top spot. JTB

, Japan’s largest travel agency , estimated on the 6th that the number of Japanese tourists traveling abroad during this year’s summer vacation (July 15-August 31) was 1.2 million. Although it doubled from a year ago, it was only 39.6% compared to 2019, right before the spread of Corona 19. This is in stark contrast to the results showing that the number of Japanese planning domestic travel is expected to exceed the 2019 level at 72.5 million. According to another travel agency HIS ‘s travel reservation trend survey, Seoul was the most visited overseas destination for Japanese this summer. It pushed Honolulu, which ranked first in 2019, to second place. Thirty percent of Japanese tourists visiting Seoul were in their 20s. Taiwan’s Taipei, Singapore, and Thailand’s Bangkok were the most popular short-distance destinations, ranking third to fifth. While popular overseas travel destinations were shortened, long-distance travel destinations such as Hokkaido and Okinawa were popular. It is analyzed that Japanese people are hesitant to travel abroad because the value of the yen has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years and the cost burden has soared토토사이트. It is explained that the Japanese people’s purchasing power has greatly decreased. This is because while overseas prices have risen two to three times over the past 30 years, prices in Japan have been at a standstill.

According to Dotan Research, a Japanese economic analysis company, at the end of last year, the price of a low-end Japanese restaurant chain ‘Otoya’ New York branch was 6,000 yen (approximately 54,430 won) in Japanese yen, six times the price in Japan. In February 2018, the price difference between New York and Japan was 3.3 times.

Reflecting this trend, average overseas travel expenses per person stood at 178,000 yen, down 86.3% from a year ago, while domestic travel expenses were 40,000 yen, the highest since the 1996 survey.

It is analyzed that the increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has greatly increased the cost of lodging. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization ( JNTO ), 1.898 million foreign tourists visited Japan in May. It has recovered to 70% of its pre-COVID-19 level.

The number of reservations at Prince Hotel, Japan’s largest luxury hotel chain, increased 1.3 times that of 2018, and the August operation rate at Hoshino Resorts, a high-end accommodation facility chain, recovered to 80-90% of 2019.

According to Australian travel management company FCM Label, the average room price in Tokyo in the first quarter of this year was $294 (about 390,000 won), the highest in Asia. It falls short of New York, where it costs $360, but is on par with Los Angeles ($295). Accommodation in Tokyo is more expensive than London ($271) and Paris ($263).

Labor shortages are also contributing to the rise in travel expenses to Japan. The number of tourists is growing rapidly, but the number of tourism workers has not recovered. World Travel Tourism Council ( WTTC)) estimated Japan’s tourism sector employment at 5.6 million in 2023. 300,000 fewer than in 2019.

In a survey conducted by the Japan Finance Corporation in the fourth quarter of last year, 56% of lodging and restaurant businesses said they were “losing opportunities to increase sales” due to manpower shortages. The labor shortage in the aviation industry is also serious. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun said, “Oita Airport in Kyushu had difficulty attracting direct flights by Jeju Air due to a lack of ‘Grand Handling’ personnel in charge of guiding aircraft.”

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