JAPAN. Outbound travel among Japanese in their 40s and 60s held up well in a difficult 2008, according to the latest detailed figures reported by Travel Journal International (TJI) Online*.

TJI Online reported figures produced by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and compiled by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). These revealed that 3,056,352 travellers in their 40s went overseas last year, down -5.0% year-on-year. Within this, women traveller numbers fell -4.2%, with men down by -5.3%.

In a tough year for the trade, against the backdrop of Japan’s weak economy and high fuel surcharges imposed by the country’s airlines, total outbound travel dipped by -7.6% to 15.9 million in 2008 compared to 2007.

Those in their 40s are now the second largest age group among Japanese travellers, with a 19.1% share in 2008, just behind those in their 30s. The share of those in their 40s was 15.9% in 2001 and 17.8% in 2005, underlining the rising importance of these travellers.

Travellers in their 60s generated 2,143,395 departures in 2008, down by -5.0% from 2007.

TJI Online said: “While seniors in their 60s ranked fifth in total share of the outbound market of 13.4%, after those in their 30s (21.1%), 40s (19.1%), 50s (17.8%) and 20s (16.4%), their share was the biggest ever as more baby boomers took to leisure travel since their retirement.”

Young women in their 20s – a key group for travel retailers – remain significant, with a 10.1% share of the total market. This was marginally up on the 10.0% share in 2007, but has tailed off over recent years. In 1995, women in their 20s made up 17.4% of all travellers. A decade later in 2005, their share had slipped to 11.0%.

TJI Online added: “The young women travellers of a decade ago, however, now represent today’s women in their 30s, who are ranked second with a 9.0% share among female travellers.”

*Editor’s note: The Moodie Report works closely with TJI Online, the largest English-language travel trade news source in Japan. Week in, week out, it provides timely and sharp analysis of the all-important Japanese travel market – international and domestic. To subscribe please visit https://tji.tjnet.co.jp. It comes with our highest recommendation.


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