Both Japanese and Australian air travellers are flying in greater numbers again when compared with last year, according to the latest data from ForwardKeys which analyses 16 million booking transactions a day. The figures show that from January to mid-March this year total Japanese outbound travel was up 4.1 per cent when compared to 2016 – an encouraging sign for the rest of 2017.
“These are encouraging findings which show a significant bounce back from security concerns,” said Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys. “Japanese outbound travel was affected from late 2015. But long-haul destinations are now recovering from a negative year in 2016. The figures for Australia are also good, with the usual caveat that people may be booking earlier than last year.”
Last year total Japanese outbound travel was down 5.4 per cent partly because of concerns about safety following terrorist attacks in Europe. However, in the year to date, Europe, with a 17.5 per cent market share, has seen a one per cent growth, after slumping 16.4 per cent in 2016.
Leading the way in growth is the Asia Pacific region which has seen a 4.7 per cent increase in arrivals from Japan this year so far, holding a 60.1 per cent market share. The ForwardKeys findings show that Australia and Hong Kong are the biggest winners in the list of Top Ten Asia Pacific destinations for Japanese travellers this year, both seeing growth of more than 30 per cent compared to the same period last year. Other Northeast Asian destinations, including China, South Korea and Taiwan, with significant market shares, also saw good growth. But the US island territory, Guam, declined significantly, down 27.6 per cent.
Forward bookings, both inbound and outbound, for Australia over the next six months are looking extremely healthy – both 12 per cent ahead of the same period last year, the ForwardKeys data reveals. Australian inbound numbers from Asia Pacific are being fuelled by growth from Indonesia, ahead 133 per cent, Hong Kong 72 per cent and China 45 per cent.
However, New Zealand, which has the largest market share of travel to Australia, is currently lagging 11 per cent in forward bookings. Within the Asia Pacific region, Australian travellers are booking in increasing numbers to Malaysia, ahead 64 per cent, India 48 per cent, and Indonesia 46 per cent, compared to the same six months last year.