Japanese seem to rely on travel programs


How many one night plus domestic holidays last year? graph of japanese opinionAs a sort-of follow-up to yesterday’s survey on holidays involving overnight stays, this time we’ll look at a survey by infoPLANT into both overnight and day return trips. The fieldwork was carried out over a period of six days in the middle of January. Note that the full paid-for survey contains many more questions.


1,500 members of the infoPLANT questionnaire panel responded to the survey. The sample was balanced 50:50 male and female in each age group, and exactly 20% in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties or older.

I’m surprised (actually, I’m not surprised, really) by the top holiday information source being television travel programs. I remember back in the UK the travel programs would have the staff joining a standard tour, sometimes with family, often staying in middle-of-the-road hotels, and participating in the usual activities that the average holidaymaker might take part in, resulting in a review that I personally could trust; here in Japan the traveller gets the best room, professionaly lit to highlight everything, eat off the top of the menu with the chef or owner hovering over the table, and get the one-on-one guided tour of the sites, declaring everything to be absolutely wonderful, including, no doubt, the brown envelopes filled with unmarked bills from the featured businesses. I know of no travel shows that make any attempt to appear genuine.

Research results

Q1: Last year, in which months did you take a day-return holiday? (Sample size=1,094, multiple answer)

January 16.2%
February 15.1%
March 26.1%
April 27.9%
May 37.2%
June 20.6%
July 23.3%
August 34.8%
September 26.6%
October 35.3%
November 25.1%
December 21.6%

The sample size of 1,094 implies that 406 people, or 27.1%, did not take a day-return holiday last year.

Q2: This year, in which month do you most want to take a day-return holiday? (Sample size=1,110, multiple answer)

January 1.2%
February 6.5%
March 11.0%
April 15.6%
May 20.9%
June 5.3%
July 7.4%
August 6.5%
September 4.5%
October 6.5%
November 5.1%
December 1.8%
None in particular 7.5%

The sample size of 1,100 implies that 400 people, or 26.7%, do not want to take a day-return holiday this year, although I’m not sure if the “none in particular” group includes people who will not take a holiday or who aren’t bothered by which month they go in.

Q3: This year, to which region do you most want to take a day-return holiday to? (Sample size=1,110, multiple answer)

Hokkaido 7.0%
Tohoku 5.5%
Kanto 28.0%
Chubu 14.5%
Kinki 23.0%
Chugoku 6.0%
Shikoku 4.1%
Kyushu 9.7%
Okinawa 2.2%

Note how the percentages differ from the previous survey on overnight stays.

Q4: Last year, how many times did you take a one night or more domestic holiday? (Sample size=1,500)

None 27.1%
Once 18.7%
Twice 18.8%
Thrice 12.9%
Four times 4.9%
Five times 6.7%
Six times 2.7%
Seven times 0.9%
Eight times 1.3%
Nine times 0.0%
Ten or more times 6.0%

Q5: From where do you usually obtain information regarding domestic travel? (Sample size=1,500)

Television travel program 43.3%
Travel agency pamphlet 34.0%
Travel agency web site 32.6%
Friends or family 30.7%
Travel guide book 26.9%
Travel magazine article 23.5%
Tourist information web site 19.6%
Other travel web site 16.3%
Newspaper advertisement 13.5%
Other television program 11.1%
Newspaper article 10.2%
Travel magazine advertisement 9.7%
Bulletin board, word-of-mouth web site 9.0%
Other magazine article 8.7%
Travel agency desk 8.5%
Blog or SNS 8.3%
Other web site 6.7%
Television advertisement 5.9%
Tourist information desk 4.0%
Other magazine advertisement 2.9%
Other 2.7%
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