Hawaii passed … Younghyo Jung’s Inside Japan

Japanese travel agency, site of popular foreign travel destinations for year-end and New Year holidays
1st in Seoul, 4th in Busan, 2nd in Honolulu
‘Shorter distance’ more popular than Hawaii due to increased fuel tax and low yen
‘Korean wave power’ added to Korea’s rapid resumption of visa-free entry
70% of Japanese tourists visiting Seoul are women

For the first time in 11 years, Seoul is the overseas travel destination that Japanese people most want to visit during the year-end and New Year holidays. Korea is emerging as the most popular Japanese travel destination in the ‘post-Corona’ era, with Busan also in fourth. Thanks to the popularity of Hallyu, 70% of Japanese travelers to Korea were women.

In the ‘year-end and New Year foreign travel popularity ranking’ published on the 27th by HIS, a major Japanese travel agency, Seoul rose to the top for the first time in 11 years since 2011. It has risen three a place from fourth place last year. Honolulu, Hawaii, which came first last year, fell to second place. Bangkok remained in third place.

Last year, Busan, which was outside the rankings, immediately jumped to fourth place. Guam, Singapore, Taipei, Manila in the Philippines, Paris in France, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam made their names in the top 10.

It is analyzed that short-haul travel destinations are becoming more popular than the traditional popular destinations of Hawaii and Europe due to an increase in air ticket fuel tax and a record-breaking yen depreciation. With the exception of Honolulu and Paris, eight of the top 10 locations were in Asia.

HIS analyzed that Korea’s special popularity in the Asian region is “thanks to the rapid easing of regulations, such as the resumption of visa-free entry since last August.” The fact that travel to Korea has become more convenient as the number of air routes between Korea and Japan has increased since Japan lifted foreign entry restrictions last month was also a factor in popularity.

The number of countries that have restored entry conditions to the same level as before Corona 19 has increased to more than 140 countries on 22 November. In Asia, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia took the lead in easing regulations.

Thanks to this, the demand for overseas travel during the year-end and New Year holidays by Japanese people was only 20% of what it was before the spread of Corona 19, while the demand for travel to Korea improved to 50 %.

Hallyu, like Korean dramas and K-pop, has also supported demand for travel to Korea. 70% of the Japanese travelers who visited Seoul were women. Of these, 40% were young women in their late teens to 20s.

HIS predicted, “This year too, travel demand will flock to Korea and Taiwan, which quickly eased access restrictions.” Demand for traditional popular travel destinations such as Hawaii and Europe, which have fallen in the rankings due to the value of the yen falling to its lowest level in 30 years, is expected to recover slightly at a time.

As Japanese people’s favorite travel destinations are narrowed down to areas around Asia, the average travel cost (travel product price) is 196,700 yen (about 1.89 million won), slightly lower than this summer’s vacation (213,600 yen).

This ranking was compiled based on the sales performance of HIS overseas travel products departing from December 24 this year to January 3 next year.

Tokyo = Reporter Jung Yeong-hyo [email protected]

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