[photopress:travel_kitty.jpg,full,alignright]Japanese overseas bookings will decline for a second year on rising fuel costs and a worsening economic outlook according to the Japanese Travel Bureau,
Travel abroad may fall 7% to 2.25 million trips. Tourism to China will fall 37% as compared to Japanese visits within Asia which may decline about 12% to 1.14 million.
JTB said, ‘With consumer prices rising, concerns about the economy and higher fuel surcharges, demand for summer family travel is likely to be affected. Food, daily products and gasoline prices are rising, causing uncertainty among consumers.’
Will this directly affect China?
If there are only 1.14 million visits to China then a drop of even 37% is not of immediate concern. But it is a straw in the wind and if other countries react in the same way is a worry.
A family of four traveling to China would pay about 900,000 yen ($842) in fuel surcharges, doubled from last year. (The illustration is Hello Kitty, the official emblem of Japan tourism. He is waving goodbye.)