Tour operators note growth in demand for summer Japan
Every year Japan becomes more and more attractive for Russians. And if earlier the demand intensified in the spring months, during the flowering of sakura, and in autumn, when the season of the “red maples” begins, now the tourists have tasted summer Japan.
Russia is in the top three countries in terms of growth in tourist traffic to Japan in 2018, a record number of Russians arrived in the country - 94.8 thousand tourists, exceeding 2017 data by 22.7%. This year, following the results of the first five months, it can be stated that the interest of tourists in Japan has increased significantly. From January to May, 47.1 thousand Russians visited Japan, this figure exceeded the data by 19.6 % for the same period last year
As for current sales, according to tour operators working in the destination, they are at good level. “We are seeing a demand high enough for summer, despite the fact that summer is the low season in Japan,” the press service of the Russian Express tour operator said. A similar picture is in Intourist company. And the BSI Group estimated the volume of summer sales as follows: “Our demand increased by 60% compared to last year”.
Among the main factors of growth in demand, experts note a lighter visa regime, as well as an increase in transportation volumes, including from Russian regions. For example, at the end of March of this year Aeroflot’s existing flights on the Moscow-Tokyo route were added by Japan Airlines. And thanks to Japan Airlines’s code-sharing agreement with S7, Japan became more accessible for residents of Russian regions. Thus, Intourist tour operator offers excursion tours to Japan from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar and Kazan.
Also, experts say, the growth of the Russian tourist traffic connects not only with transport accessibility of Japan, but also with price. According to Ivetta Verdiyan, the director of the promotion and advertising department of BSI Group, the company's tourists are in great demand for a classic group excursion tours on the basis of direct flights to Tokyo at an attractive price of 134,900 Rubles ($ 2,157) per person.
Meanwhile, according to experts, the number of requests for non-standard, expensive tours has grown. “We have increased demand for individual luxury tours. Main cities of visit are Tokyo - Kyoto. The average cost of a tour per person, taking into account accommodation in 5* hotels, is on average 5,000 - 10,000 dollars,” PAC Group company reports. As for independent tourists, according to experts, their number is minimal, since Japan is still a tour operator’s product.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.