The UK’s Top Travel Trends - Japan offers the answers
How Japan can help you benefit from the UK’s Top Travel Trends
Ask affluent travellers where they would most like to travel and Japan will often be at the top of their list. The fact remains however that over 70% of leisure travellers from Europe will be visiting for the first time.
The fact that so many travellers are visiting for the first times often results in agents selling a classic city-based tour comprising Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. There’s nothing wrong with this, visitors will enjoy a wonderful trip, but Japan can offer so much more.
Many of the key trends in post pandemic travel can be met with a trip to Japan. Encourage travellers to take the path less travelled and they will enjoy a holiday like no other.
Flying the nest – travel with University Age Children
Japan is a country that appeals across the generations. From the very young to teenagers, young married couples and empty nesters – everyone wants to visit Japan. It’s also a perfect destination to create itineraries with something for everyone. From city lights to amazing landscapes, food and culture. Add to this the fact that just travelling around the country is an adventure and everyone will return with memories to last a lifetime.
There has long been a desire for ‘authenticity’ in travel. Over recent years this has developed into a more responsible approach to travel with a desire to ensure that trips have a positive impact on local communities.
Japan has a rich history and heritage which is embodied in the local communities. Whether it’s in the middle of a city or amongst unspoilt countryside, visitors who are prepared to slow down and take their time will be rewarded if they enjoy local food, crafts and accommodation.
It can be difficult to know how best to source local accommodation and experiences to meet this growing trend. If your DMC needs a bit more support in this area just put them in touch with the team at Japan san.
It might be the effect of the lockdown or the fact that people are prepared to spend more money on their holiday, but affluent travellers are more inclined to explore new destinations.
Black Tomato’s co-founder Tom Marchant has said ‘While travel in 2022 was marked by nostalgia and the known, travel in 2023 will be bolder and braver, with clients wanting to push boundaries and lean into the spirit of curiosity, and parts unknown’.
Japan remains a destination that intrigues even the most well-travelled client. It’s no surprise that it’s proving to be exceptionally popular now that travel has returned to some level of normality.
Whilst many affluent travellers have increased their budgets and are willing to spend more on their holiday, inflation and exchange rates are still a factor. Savvy travellers know that, if they choose carefully, they can go further and indulge themselves without breaking the bank. Japan has, very unfairly been seen as an expensive destination by many – in fact the opposite is the case. A large part of this is down to the weakness of the Yen.
Over the past two years sterling has performed poorly against the dollar. Leaving aside the nadir during Liz Truss’s premiership when the £1 was close to $1, sterling has still dropped from around $1.40 to the £ to $1.20. By contrast the Yen exchange rate has improved for travellers from the UK. Two years ago £1 would get you around 140 Yen; today it’s around 160. The £ has dropped by 15% against the dollar but risen by around 15% against the Yen.
Travel to New York and Tokyo and you’ll notice the difference. A £400 night hotel in New York will cost half that in Tokyo. It’s the same eating out. A mid-priced restaurant in Tokyo will be around half of what you might expect in New York.
It’s not surprising that enlightened travellers are looking to Japan for their next travel adventure.
More travellers seeking expert advice
The problems caused by the pandemic drove more travellers to seek advice from travel agents and tour operators. This trend has continued, particularly amongst affluent travellers with more money to spend. People want to explore new destinations and are often looking to travel as a group.
These three things - higher budgets, unfamiliar places and the complications of group travel have made expert advice invaluable. Japan is one of those countries that people want support and advice on travelling to. It’s an easy country to navigate once you’re there, but few have experience of the country. It’s one of those places where travel experts are invaluable.