Thursday, December 16, 1999

Japan holiday
visitors down

JTB expects a 9 percent
drop-off from last year

By Russ Lynch


Put off by millennium concerns and unfavorable holiday days-off, Japanese travelers will stay closer to home in the Christmas-New Year's period and Hawaii will lose about 9 percent of the Japanese tourist traffic it had in last year's season, according to Japan Travel Bureau Inc.

From its latest survey, Japan's largest travel company said it expects 71,000 people to come to Hawaii in the Dec. 23-Jan. 3 period, down from78,000 for the equivalent period last year.

That will push Hawaii into second place among Japanese traveling overseas for the holidays, JTB said. South Korea, expecting to get 82,000 Japanese through the holidays, moved into first place with a 7.9 percent increase from 76,000 in the 1998-99 holiday season.

JTB said one factor in the change is that Japan takes the Mondays after the holidays as days off so workers who leave just before Christmas will have to be back at work on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Also, some people will be working over the year-end/New Year's holiday because they have to be on their jobs in case of computer glitches due to the so-called Y2K bug.

JTB said overseas travelers will drop to 559,000, a decrease of 11.4 percent or 32,000 people from the year-earlier holiday traffic of 631,000. However, the slowdown over the holidays may well be made up by an increase in early January, JTB said. There is a national holiday on Monday, Jan. 10, and people seem to be looking at that long weekend for a good start to an overseas trip, JTB said.

JTB interviewed 2,200 men and women over 18 who booked holiday travel in early November at 200 sales offices in Japan.

E-mail to Business Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin