As Japan fully reopens, Trip.com reports surge in bookings

THE big news of the week is the full reopening of Japan from October 11, after two and a half years of restrictions. Pent-up demand for inbound and outbound travel is being felt by travel brands around the world.

Trip.com, which began reviewing booking data for travel to Japan from countries in Europe and Asia, and Japan search data for the top 10 destinations in APAC and the United States United from May saw huge spikes in searches and bookings from APAC. and European countries in September, in anticipation of full reopening.

Bookings from South Korea increased by 194%, followed by a 183% increase in bookings from the UK, 169% in bookings from Spain and 103% in bookings from ‘Germany.

Japan has long been popular among British travellers, with 330,000 visitors from the UK traveling to Japan before the pandemic.

Trip.com said: “We have seen consistently high search numbers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the United States since May this year, with sharp spikes in major destinations in September 2022.

“Singapore saw a 520% ​​increase in searches month-on-month in September, followed by a 463% increase in searches from Thailand, a 365% increase in searches from Australia and 359% of searches from South Korea.Even the country with the lowest peak, the Philippines, saw a 91% increase in searches, which is still incredibly encouraging.

“With the news that Japan is currently Google’s most searched travel destination for Australians, it’s encouraging to see that Trip.com’s search data reflects this broader trend.”

The weakening of the yen against the strength of other key currencies could also boost demand in Japan.

However, there are still concerns that a lack of travelers from mainland China and Hong Kong – which previously accounted for 37% of all visitors to Japan – could make Japan’s travel recovery more subdued.

To mark Japan’s full reopening, Trip.com held a mega sale in September featuring deals on luxury hotels across the country, from the Kobe Portopia Hotel to the ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort. As a result, these hotels saw a huge increase in visitors to their websites, with Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo seeing an 8,270% increase in visits to their website over the two weeks of the mega sale.

Trip.com also recorded the highest app install numbers of the year during the mega sale, with 4,610 downloads on September 13 and a total of 15,910 downloads on the four most popular days, compared to 10,682 downloads over the same period the previous month, a whopping 149% increase.

The mega sale period also attracted an increase in website traffic from direct mail (283% over 15 days compared to traffic figures from the Golden Week campaign, which lasted five days), social media ( 300%) and SEO (123%). among other key traffic sources, and a 35% increase in direct traffic.

Trip.com Japan General Manager Hironori Katsuse said, “The dual effect of easing entry restrictions and a weaker yen has led to a rapid expansion of inbound tourism in Japan. It really is a revenge trip situation. With an expected increase in international flights from October, Trip.com Japan expects a more robust recovery from the fourth to the first quarter of 2023.”

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