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Don’t need to travel? Many in Japan say they’ll ‘never travel’ again


Everyone seems to be traveling, it seems.

Data shows individuals are traveling more often and for longer periods of time, with many planning big bucket list-style trips this yr.

But this is not the truth for all.

One other group of individuals are quietly emerging from the pandemic with little to no interest to travel anymore.

Where ‘never travelers’ are highest

A survey of 16,000 adults in 15 countries by the worldwide intelligence company Morning Seek the advice of found that Asia is home to the very best percentage of people that said they’ll “never travel” again.

Some 15% of South Korean and 14% of Chinese respondents indicated they’d never travel again, based on Morning Seek the advice of’s “The State of Travel & Hospitality” report published in August.  

North America is not far behind, with 14% of American and 11% of Mexican respondents indicating the identical.

Yet, no country got here near the travel reluctance shown in Japan, where some 35% of respondents said they do not intend to travel again.  

The survey asked about “any leisure travel” and didn’t differentiate between domestic or international travel plans, said Lindsey Roeschke, a travel and hospitality analyst at Morning Seek the advice of.

Respondents were surveyed twice this yr: in April and July, she said. During that point, travel confidence increased amongst other Japanese respondents, including those that said they plan to travel in the following three months (+7 points) in addition to the following 12 months (+4 points).

But in each surveys, “the variety of ‘never travelers’ … stayed the identical in Japan,” said Roeschke.

Even with travel intentions on the rise, Japan’s rates remain far behind other countries, including those in North Asia, based on the report.

Some 45% of Japanese respondents said they intend to travel in the following yr, in comparison with 65% in China and 66% in South Korea, the survey showed.

Against this, 77% of German respondents said they plan to travel in the following 12 months.

‘Don’t need to go overseas’

It might be said that the pandemic has reduced the variety of Japanese who resolve to travel abroad, but I feel the weaker yen has had a greater impact.

Tetsuya Hanada

managing director, Tabimori Inc.

Some 386,000 Japanese travelers went overseas in August — a far cry from the estimated 2.1 million who traveled abroad in August of 2019, based on the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Hideki Furuya, a professor at Japan’s Toyo University who studies tourist behavior, said one reason is the culture’s “preference for risk aversion.”

He said peer pressure may also keep travelers near home if the chance of contracting Covid-19 is high.

Why people who don't want to travel aren't talking about it

Tetsuya Hanada, the managing director of the food and travel company Tabimori Inc. said he believes funds are an excellent greater factor.

“It might be said that the pandemic has reduced the variety of Japanese who resolve to travel abroad, but I feel the weaker yen has had a greater impact,” he told CNBC Travel.

No place like home

We expect to see a return to the pre-2020 demand for international travel sooner fairly than later.

Hideki Furuya

professor at Toyo University

Following a rapid rise in international travel through the Seventies and Eighties, the variety of Japanese residents traveling abroad has largely stagnated because the mid-Nineteen Nineties, based on statistics from the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Roughly the identical variety of Japanese residents traveled overseas in 2000 and 2017 — about 18 million — despite the timeframe being one in every of incredible growth for international travel worldwide.

“The language barrier and the shortage of consecutive holidays are a number of the the reason why domestic travel is preferred,” said Furuya, adding that “work environments that make it difficult to take paid vacations” is one other factor.

Japan’s passport is usually cited as one in every of the strongest on this planet, yet lower than one in 4 Japanese residents had one in 2019.

Behrouz Mehri | Afp | Getty Images

He also cited the attractiveness of Japan’s nature, history, and culture as further incentive to remain near home.

This may place additional pressure on destinations which might be popular with Japanese tourists, namely Taiwan, South Korean and Hawaii.

But Hanada said, with time, Japanese residents will likely travel again.  

“The Japanese are easily swayed by the bulk, a sentiment that may change in five years,” he said.

Furuya said he expects it won’t take that long.

“After seeing and hearing how lively Westerners are, we expect to see a return to the pre-2020 demand for international travel sooner fairly than later,” he said.

Others are staying home too  

Beyond Japan, other travelers say they too have lost their luster for travel.

The British artist generally known as Miles Takes told CNBC Travel that “international travel still seems some time away” for him.  

“Prior to now, I loved to travel and as recently as the start of this yr, I even have travelled to Singapore and Poland from London,” he said. But “each these trips triggered anxiety which has since gotten so much worse.”

A mixture of things turned him off from traveling, he said, including Covid, travel disruptions and having a medically vulnerable partner.

Singaporean Daniel Chua says he’s in no rush to travel for “a mixed bag of reasons.”

But Covid is not one in every of them, he said.

“I’m not afraid of the virus,” said Singaporean Daniel Chua, shown here in Edinburgh, Scotland. He told CNBC Travel he’s less inclined to travel, partially, due to its impact on the environment.

A piece trip to Europe in June exposed him to a “mess” of flight delays and staffing shortages, he said. Moreover, he said virtual meetings are a more efficient use of labor time.

Chua also cited sustainability as a disincentive to travel, calling it a “core belief in my work and private life.”

But he acknowledged he’s surrounded by people who find themselves traveling.

“I do not talk over with them about why I do not travel, to not burst their bubble or to, , be the party pooper amidst all of this celebration,” he said. “For me, it’s a private decision.”

Chua said he believes there are more individuals who feel like him, but that they are traveling out of peer pressure or due to FOMO — or the “fear of missing out.”

Neither affect him though, he said.

“I even have traveled a lot previously,” he said. “There is no particular country on this planet that I actually must visit right away.”

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