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October 30, 2013
  • Rakuten Travel, Inc.

Rakuten Travel Announces Overseas Travel Trends
for the New Year Holiday Period

- As a Result of the Nine-Day Holiday, Dramatic Increases of 88.8% Year-on-Year, with Expensive “Luxury Holidays” Popular;
Spending by the Working Generation Rising Approximately 22% -

Tokyo, October 30, 2013 – Rakuten Travel, Inc. today announced the accommodation booking status of overseas travel during the New Year holiday period between December 28, 2013 and January 5, 2014.

Overview of Overseas Travel Trends for the 2013 New Year Holiday Period

[Period] December 28, 2013 to January 5, 2014 

[Summary]

Overseas accommodation (number of people and days): +88.8% year-on-year   
By area: Hong Kong +204.6%, Thailand +140.1%, Singapore +136.9% year-on-year
Money spent (per person, per night): +20.1% year-on-year
Peak day: December 31

Overseas accommodation bookings for this year’s New Year holiday period has gone up dramatically by 88.8% year-on-year. This is due to the combination of the timing of the New Year holidays falling on the weekdays between two weekends resulting in a nine-day holiday, and the effects of Abenomics. These factors have triggered greater demand for overseas travel. Another trend this year is that more people are booking their holidays earlier than usual (as of October 23).

[New Year Holiday Trends]

- Bookings by the working generation in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are steadily rising
- Popularity of expensive “luxury holidays” is growing
- Bookings being made earlier, with January departures being popular

Bookings by the Working Generation in Their 30s, 40s, and 50s Steadily Rising

Accommodation bookings have increased a great deal across all age groups. The increase in bookings has been particularly noticeable among people of the working generation, who have benefitted most from the economic upturn, and grew by 68.0%, 89.7% and 94.7% year-on-year with people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, respectively.

[Number of Accommodation Bookings (Number of People and Days) for Different Age Groups Year-on-Year]

20s  +40.6%
30s  +68.0%
40s  +89.7%
50s  +94.7%
60s  +88.4%
70s  +87.5%

Expensive “Luxury Holidays” Popular
Money spent on accommodation per person, per night, has increased by 20.1% year-on-year, reflecting the growing popularity of expensive luxury holidays. The growth in popularity has been most pronounced among people in their 30s, and as with the number of accommodation bookings mentioned above, sales have increased centered on the working generation.

[Money Spent on Accommodation (Per Person, Per Night) for Different Age Groups Year-on-Year]

20s  +20.4%
30s  +25.2%
40s  +18.1%
50s  +21.8%
60s  +6.9%
70s  +9.9%

■ Accommodation Bookings Being Made Earlier, with January Departures Popular

Accommodation bookings are being made earlier than usual, and popular places are already heavily booked. Looking at the booking status reveals that January departures are popular. This is believed to be due to the fact that the New Year holidays fall on the weekdays between two weekends. This schedule will then allow people to spend New Year’s Day in Japan, and still have time to go traveling overseas afterward. 

■ Countries Ranked in Order of Increased Popularity Year-on-Year

The popularity of Hong Kong has increased dramatically to 204.6% year-on-year. Nearby countries in Asia have increased most in popularity, while the U.S. is ranked fifth. 

[Countries Ranked in Order of Increased Number of Accommodation Bookings (Number of People and Days) Year-on-Year]

1  Hong Kong   +204.6%
2  Thailand      +140.1%
3  Singapore    +136.9%
4  Taiwan        +118.7%
5  U.S.            +99.1%

* Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan have been excluded from the U.S. 

[Factors Contributing to the Popularity of Each Area]

Hong Kong:
The food culture is particularly attractive with Japanese people, with accessibility believed to be one of the reasons behind its popularity. Accommodation bookings have also increased in recent years due to the popularity of such events as eye-catching Christmas light decorations, and a special New Year’s Eve countdown with lit-up skyscrapers as a backdrop.

Thailand:
Based on friendly ties between Japan and Thailand, Thai Airways International has increased flights to Japan, boosting travel convenience between the two nations. In addition, dining, shopping, spas, and golf can all be enjoyed at reasonable prices, adding to the popularity of the country.

Singapore:
In addition to the popularity of the much-talked-about Marina Bay Area, Singapore Airlines has also increased flights to Japan, boosting travel convenience between the two countries. There has been an increasing trend and demand for Singapore as a destination for leisure activities.

Taiwan:
The country’s popularity has grown as a close overseas destination that people can even visit on weekends. LCC has increased flights, contributing to its popularity. Accommodation bookings for departures during the New Year have been particularly popular.

The U.S.:
Brand USA1, an organization that promotes tourism in the U.S., is investing effort into attracting Japanese travelers. Popular destinations include cities on the West Coast such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as Las Vegas and New York.

(*1) Brand USA is an organization whose mission is to promote tourism in the U.S. by encouraging increased international travelers to the U.S., and to help foster America’s share of the global travel market. It was established in the U.S. in 2010 with the aim of increasing the number of overseas visitors through marketing and promotional activities.


■ Ranking of Cities
Ranked in order of number of accommodation booking (people and days)
1st   Guam (Guam)
2nd  Taiwan (Taiwan)
3rd   Seoul (South Korea)
4th   Singapore (Singapore)
5th   Bangkok (Thailand)

This year, overseas travel over the New Year period has increased in virtually all areas, regardless of distance. Travel to Hawaii’s Big Island in particular has skyrocketed this year, increasing 763.2% over last year. The main reason for this is because the Hawaii Tourism Authority considers the Japanese market to be vital and has implemented a major campaign to promote the islands’ attractions.

■ Ranking of Countries
Ranked in order of number of accommodation booking
 (people and days) 
1st   Guam  
2nd  Taiwan  
3rd   South Korea  
4th   Thailand  
5th   Singapore  
    
Ranked in order of year-on-year increase
1st   Hong Kong  +204.6%
2nd  Thailand  +140.1%
3rd   Singapore  +136.9%
4th   Taiwan  +118.7%
5th   The U.S.  +99.1%
 
30s: Ranked in order of number of accommodation booking   
1st   Taiwan          
2nd  Guam           
3rd   South Korea  
4th   Singapore     
5th   Thailand        

30s:Ranked in order of year-on-year increase
1st   Hong Kong +164.0%
2nd  Indonesia +118.8%
3rd   Taiwan +92.9%
4th   The U.S.  +82.9%
5th   Singapore +79.7%

     
40s:Ranked in order of number of accommodation booking    
1st   Taiwan  
2nd  South Korea  
3rd   Guam  
4th   Thailand   
5th   Singapore

40s:Ranked in order of year-on-year increase
1st   Taiwan +148.8%
2nd  Hong Kong +148.7%
3rd   Thailand  +133.9%
4th   Singapore +128.3%
5th   The U.S.  +96.4%


50s: Ranked in order of number of accommodation booking    
1st   Taiwan  
2nd  South Korea  
3rd   Thailand   
4th   Singapore  
5th   Guam  

50s:Ranked in order of year-on-year increase
1st   Malaysia +257.1%
2nd  Vietnam +233.3%
3rd   China +148.0%
4th   Indonesia +146.2%
5th   Hong Kong +128.6%

[Travel Trends Survey]
Calculations based on the number of people and days booked as of October 23, and compared year-on-year.
Period examined: December 28, 2013 to January 5, 2014
Service examined: Overseas accommodation

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