April 5, 2013
  • Rakuten Travel

Rakuten Travel Reveals Travel Trends
for Golden Week 2013

-Domestic tourism up 20.2% from last year,
travel to Fukushima Prefecture up 86.0% on strength of popular drama-related travel;
inbound tourism doubles year-on-year as foreign visitors return-

TOKYO, April 5, 2013 - Rakuten Travel Inc. today announced the status of domestic and international travel reservations for the Golden Week period of April 27 to May 6, 2013. 


■□ Summary of 2013 Golden Week travel trends□■

Travel period: Saturday, April 27 to Monday, May 6, 2013

■Overall domestic (domestic accommodation + Dynamic Packages): +20.2%
By area – Fukushima Prefecture: +86.0%; Saitama Prefecture: +52.4%; Mie Prefecture: +31.1%

■Overseas accommodation: +2.6%
By area – Singapore: +43.8%; Thailand: +41.0%; Honolulu (Oahu): +34.0%

■Accommodation (inbound): +100.9% 

Domestic Tourism Topics

The domestic travel sector will perform strongly during Golden Week (GW), with reservations up 20.2% from last year. Fukushima Prefecture is proving very popular as it was the location of an NHK period drama, helping it to attract 86.0% more traffic than in 2012. Signaling a potential recovery in consumption, average spending per traveler is on the rise, up approximately 5% in the latter half of GW compared to 2012, the time period during which the bulk of travel happens. Analyzed by group, travel among women is up 26.2% compared to last year, while travel with children will increase 15.7%. The busiest day for accommodations will be the night of May 3.   

■Fukushima Prefecture attracts 86.0% more travelers than last year as it was the location of a popular NHK period drama

Fukushima is doing very well in tourism, with 86% more visitors than last year. The prefecture is drawing much attention as it was the location of the NHK period drama, Yae no Sakura. This is also the year of the Ceremonial Rebuilding of Ise Grand Shrine, contributing to a 31.1% increase in the number of worshippers, particularly young women, who are travelling to Mie Prefecture. Tourism to Kagawa Prefecture rises 34.9% as many travelers are going for the second Setouchi Triennale this year.

■Last four days of Golden Week prove more popular

As a result of the way the dates for GW have fallen this year, the last four days of the holiday period are proving most popular for travel. According to a survey of Rakuten Travel members (sample of 3,722 respondents), 34.1% replied that they could take a maximum of four days’ vacation. The next biggest group, 18.4%, will be taking a long vacation of ten days or more. The peak departure day will be Friday, May 3. 

■Rising average travel spending may be a sign of economic recovery

There is evidence for an improved consumer outlook given a 2.6% rise in per capita travel spending during the first three days of GW and 4.7% rise for the last four days. This statement is further supported by our survey on travel budgets per traveler, for which around 30% of domestic tourists replied that they would spend “over 50,000 yen.”

■Opening of new spots continues from last year; travel to Tokyo region remains popular

Demand for trips to the Tokyo region continues to grow, gaining 25.3% more tourists than last year with the first anniversary of the opening of Tokyo Skytree, the opening of the rebuilt Kabukiza theater in Ginza, and the March debut of the Marunouchi Kitte complex. Saitama Prefecture will benefit from improved access as a result of the new connection of the Toyoko Railway from Yokohama and the Fukutoshin  Line to Saitama. This will contribute to a 52.4% increase in visitors. The 30th anniversary of the opening of Tokyo Disneyland and other events are also contributing to the region’s popularity.

Outbound tourism topics

More travelers choosing short-haul cities and resorts

Demand for travel to China and South Korea remains weak, but tours to other nearby Asian cities are very popular, with travel to Singapore up 43.8%, Thailand up 41.0% and Taiwan up 25.1% year-on-year. Resort destinations are also performing strongly, with demand up 34.0% for Honolulu (Oahu) and 30.9% for Guam. Among long-haul destinations, travel to the United States will increase by 27.8%. 

Inbound tourism topics

Inbound tourists return in force, foreign visitor numbers up 100.9%

Although the number of foreign tourists in Japan dropped dramatically following the March 2011 disaster, there are signs this year of a rebound fueled by the weaker yen. The strongest-growing source countries are Thailand (+376.6%), Taiwan, (+162.7%) and Hong Kong (+103.0%). Popular destinations are Okinawa, up 262.6%, Kyoto, up 177.1% and Hokkaido, with 37.9% more visitors.


Conditions of the Travel Trends Survey
Based on a comparison of accommodation bookings made over the same period last year, as of March 26
-Period: April 27 to May 6, 2013
-Domestic travel: Domestic accommodation, ANA Raku Pack, JAL Raku Pack
-International travel: International accommodation
-Inbound travel: Accommodation of foreign tourists

Survey summary
-Area: all of Japan
-Respondents: Members subscribing to Rakuten Travel News (online)
-Sample size: 3,722
-Survey period: March 28 to April 4, 2013
-Organization: Rakuten Travel Inc.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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