Column / 2020.06.24

90% of foreigners living in Japan looking forward to domestic travel after Coronavirus, especially to Okinawa and Tokyo

90% of foreigners living in Japan looking forward to domestic travel after Coronavirus, especially to Okinawa and Tokyo
Number of tourists to Japan expected to increase, as foreigners seek "experiences unique to Japan"

In light of the government announcing that the travel ban between prefectures would be lifted on June 19, YOLO JAPAN Co., Ltd. (CEO: Taisuke Kaji, Tokyo headquarters: Shinagawa ward, Tokyo, hereinafter "YOLO JAPAN"), operator of Japan's largest media for foreigners in Japan with over 160,000 members from 226 different countries, conducted a questionnaire* among its members about tourism after the new coronavirus. 

According to the results of said questionnaire, 90% of YOLO JAPAN members are strongly interested in travelling to other prefectures, especially Okinawa and Tokyo, after the coronavirus. In addition, 95% of members expected that foreign tourists would come to Japan in search of "experiences unique to Japan", such as hot springs and regional culture.   

*Questionnaire period: April 27, 2020 - May 11, 2020, Respondents: 372 YOLO JAPAN members from 63 different countries

The domestic travel destination with the most votes was Okinawa (139 votes, 37%). In second place was Tokyo (112 votes, 30%), followed by Hokkaido (101 votes, 27%), Osaka (94 votes, 25%), and Kyoto (90 votes, 24%). This ranking reflected that foreign tourists are interested in the same destinations that are popular among Japanese tourists.   

More than the travel destination being close to home (29%), respondents preferred to visit somewhere with high-quality food and accommodations (62%) and interesting events (56%) that show the unique characteristics of the destination, reflecting a demand for more long-distance travel. Other deciding factors included consideration to cleanliness and hygiene (47%), with almost half of respondents concerned for their health and safety while they travel in the age of corona. 

Respondents also thought that foreigners visiting Japan would want to travel the country, with 95% of respondents expecting tourists to come to Japan from overseas after corona. The reasons they gave were, "they'll want to visit Japanese tourist spots" (84%), and "they'll want to experience Japanese culture" (81%), suggesting that foreigners have a stronger interest in experiencing the tourist spots and culture of Japan compared to those of other countries. Other reasons given included that foreign tourists will be planning to attend the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed until next year.  

As for ways to attract foreign tourists to Japan, respondents suggested cultural experiences (82%), tasting regional food and sake (62%), and many other plans that would allow tourists to experience the distinct regional cultures of Japan. On the other hand, few respondents were in favor of plans that avoid the three Cs, such as private tours (22%) and online simulated experiences (17%). These results reflected the importance of foreigners directly experiencing Japanese culture, rather than through new methods that prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

We also received these comments from respondents who recommended things to do in Japan for foreigners living overseas.

"I recommend going to a hot spring. When I first came to Japan and went to a hot spring, I was embarrassed about taking all my clothes off, but once I got used to it I enjoyed it. It also feels really nice to wear a yukata in the summertime." (Vietnam, 20s, female)  

"I think something you can only experience in Japan is the unique regional culture, and the atmosphere there. As a tourist being welcomed to the region, if you try to customize too much you will miss out on the experience, so I would recommend preserving the regional culture." (Russia, 20s, female)

"I recommend experiencing Japanese nature. It feels so refreshing to go out and have a Japanese bento by a river or mountains. I also recommend going to aquariums, theme parks, art galleries, and flower parks. You will never forget them." (Philippines, 20s, female)

YOLO JAPAN will reference the findings of our questionnaire as we strive to expand our services in order to provide better support to foreigners living in Japan. 

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