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Ajankohtaista tietoa Japanin matkailusta

Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tulevaisuuden näkymiä ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Japanista matkailumarkkinana. Englanninkielinen markkinakatsausmateriaali päivitetään kaksi kertaa vuodessa.

Updated August 2021

Finland's position in the market

Finland has established a strong position in the market during the challenging pandemic times. COVID-19 has made such significant impact on the minds of Japanese and their way of thinking. Japan has been known for the hardworking ethics, frequent social drinking with clients and colleagues and face to face meetings as a standard business practice. Many people were living to work instead of working to live. Nowadays, people are spending more time at home and family due to the prolonged remote working environment. Finland is now recognized as the happiest country in the world in addition to its popular USP such as interior and fashion designs, Moomin, Santa and aurora. Various Japanese media have been featuring articles on its lifestyle and values, benchmarking Finland as a leading society in this field. Growing popularity of sauna culture in Japan among young people and women is also a huge factor in generating ongoing publicity. Visit Finland's sauna campaign has successfully created the foundation of an effective cross industry platform which encompasses all these essentials in the market trend. Collaboration with Food From Finland and Consumer Business continuously generates promotional leads to attract direct marketing opportunities. The new strategic direction under Finland Promotion Services leverages effective marketing to full advantage in Japan.

Finnish nature is one of the top of mind images for many Japanese. Connecting with nature is another growing demand as people are looking for peace of mind in an open space. Camping, outdoor activities and tent sauna are very popular activities. Consumers are now much more aware of environmental issues at hand. Sustainable Travel Finland is a timely theme in reaching out to a wider audience.

Accessibility is the key. Japanese travel agents have been making constant assessment on possible scenarios leading up to the ramp up phase. Importance of destination's safety and cleanliness is more than ever. In addition, direct access to/from the destination is the key factor in the new era for the outbound tourism. Circle trips were very popular itineraries for European and Nordic countries before the pandemic outbreak. From the risk management point of view, this standard practice will be no longer valid for quite some time. Finnair's commercial team in Japan is well aware of this situation.

Consumer trends and behavior

Connecting with nature is growing rapidly. People are looking for peace of mind in an open space. Camping, outdoor activities and tent sauna are very popular activities. This trend is a good opportunity for Finland as nature is one of the top of mind images for many Japanese. Northern Light viewing is such attractive attraction during the ramp up phase. Many travel agents are aiming for promotion theme around aurora in late 2021 and early 2022 when overseas traveling become possible. In addition, consumers are now much more aware of environmental issues at hand. Sustainable Travel Finland is a timely theme in reaching out to a wider audience.

Enhancing wellbeing and work life balance is such important subject recently. Finland is very visible in various media and SoMe for its values and welfare. Consumers are looking to Finland for ideas to make a comfortable home environment. Lifestyle is the key word. Sauna continues to attract more young people and women as favorite hobby and pastime. Admiration for an authentic Finnish sauna experience continue to grow in the market. Experiencing Finnish lifestyle is becoming an important factor.

It has been such challenging time for the travel agents having to modify their business models. Big companies have been downsizing their retail shops, drastic shifting towards more digitalization. Japanese OTA such as Rakuten Travel and AirTrip Corp. as well as Expedia and Ctrip are in a very strong position. However, business volumes for OTA tend to be domestic and short haul destinations for the outbound market. We need to carefully monitor development to if distribution changes for the long haul.

Mono destination and solo traveling will drive the demand in an early phase of the outbound recovery. Destination hopping in Europe had been a popular touring itinerary before the pandemic. It is now perceived to be a high risk as public is very careful about the preventive actions during the trip to minimize chances of getting infected in a foreign country. Critical importance of direct assess to/from the destination is more than ever.

Industry update and distribution channels

Japanese government declared its 4th state of emergency in Tokyo on 12.7 just before the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, this declaration is now extended for 2 more weeks until 12.9 and 12 more prefectures had been added to the list due to further spread of the Delta variant. Good news is that the pace of vaccination is picking up. It is now projected to reach 70% of the population will be fully vaccinated by the end of October. Prime Minister is trying desperately to gain public confidence before the election for the leader of Liberal Democratic Party at the end of September just before the election for the House of Representatives in October. Political environment will be unstable over the next few months until the nomination of the new Cabinet Ministers is settled in fall.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to keep the travel warning at Level-3 as "do not travel" for the long haul destinations except for Aus and NZ. For the travel agents to sell package tours, a destination needs to be at Level-1 under the current regulations. East Asia countries and Singapore are at Level2. Japanese are allowed to leave for Finland and return to the country. However, 14 days of quarantine is mandatory. Some students are departing for one year exchange programs in Finland.

Many people in the tourism sector have been seconded to operations for the Olympics/Paralympics and vaccination center. TA/TO are gradually resuming business operations to prepare for the winter products. The outbound industry has strong expectation towards aurora destinations. Currently, Finnair operates 3 weekly flights ex-Narita. Japan Airlines operate also 3 weekly flights ex-Haneda. It is critical for Finnish suppliers and DMC to reconnect actively with Japanese TA/TO in this fall.

Finland travel USP's

Finland has been able to establish its destination images around safe and clean destination in the market over the years. This general perception puts us in a very strong position as safety and cleanliness are the top criteria in the decision making process for leisure travels nowadays. It is essential to keep reinforcing the fundamental USP such as northern lights, Finnish lifestyle design, Moomins and Santa. They are directly linked to peaceful environment where travelers could feel comfortable and relax. Our USP suits needs and demand for all market segments. "Lifestyle" and "Well-being" are rapidly emerging needs especially among young Japanese giving us an opportunity to reach out wider audience. Authentic Finnish sauna culture is an ideal tourism product. Cafe hopping and shopping are also popular activities.

Connecting with nature is growing rapidly becoming favorite pastime among young generation and families. People are looking for activities in an open space. Camping, outdoor sports and tent sauna are very popular activities. This trend is another good opportunity for Finland as nature is one of the top of mind images for many Japanese.

Products in winter:
Northern Lights, Christmas, City breaks, Authentic sauna experience, Café, Finnish Design and Fashion

Products in summer:
City breaks, Authentic sauna experience, Moomin, Midnight Sun, Finnish Design and Fashion

Products in spring/fall:
Authentic sauna experience, Food, Northern Lights, Finnish Design and Fashion

Future outlook and upcoming season

Workation is an emerging trend due to the extended remote working environment. Japanese corporations are much more flexible in coping with the fluid environment. FIT, seniors, students and corporate travelers will be primary early adopters at the initial stage of the recovery.

The outlook for the leisure tourism industry is hopeful with the current forecast for the vaccination rate. Japanese Government will escalate economy stimulus packages once the virus spread is contained. Immediate needs will be to revitalize local economies through campaigns to drive domestic travel, entertainments and restaurants. Corporate travelers to Asia Pacific countries will pick up the pace for exports, research and investment related fields.

Senior segments is still a big market for European destinations. Frequent travelers are very anxious to resume traveling to overseas after almost 2 years of suspension. Japan Association of Travel Agents continues to lobby for amendment of rules and regulations to the policy makers. JATA has been proposing a similar concept to the Olympic bubble approach where visiting athletes were monitored for their preregistered schedules and activities. A small size group tour with a tour escort is an ideal solution under the current circumstance. Basically, a tour conductor is responsible for the bubble tour itinerary and places of visits. Traceability is the key in case of infection during the tour.

For this winter season, aurora and sauna would be the top attractions for Finland as they are driven by strong motives. Young active segments are looking for unique and authentic experiences. Northern light viewing is strongly linked to a nature phenomenon in winter. Many Japanese sauna enthusiasts aspires to experience avanto dipping in the frozen lakes as "must experience." Combination of these 2 products is becoming a dream journey.

 

Japani matkailumarkkinana

Suomi on menestynyt hyvin Skandinavian maiden välisessä kisassa. Se on johtanut yöpymistilastoa jo monen vuoden ajan.

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Account Manager

Tarja Koivisto

+358 40 546 4949

Kiina, Japani, Korea, Intia, lentoyhtiöyhteistyö, isot projektit

Sales & Marketing Manager

Koichi Numata

Japan