Japan’s flight searches soar

SINGAPORE, 26 September 2022: Expedia reports Japan flight searches doubled following Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s announcement last week that confirms Covid-19 border restrictions will end on 11 October.

According to the PM, Japan will allow individual visitors to enter the country, reinstate visa waivers and end the cap on daily arrivals. It represents a significant policy shift in border controls linked to curbing the spread of Covid-19.

Japan reopened its borders to tourists on guided tours to enter last June, but tourists on nonguided tours still had to book through a registered travel agency. As of 11 October, travellers can book their holidays online without using a registered travel agency.

Japan removed the mandatory pre-arrival PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers in September.

The new guidelines will open doors to tourists as long as they have been vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test ahead of their trip, Kyodo News reported.

Commenting on the announcement, Expedia Group’s head of public relations Asia, Lavinia Rajaram said: “Search demand for travel to Japan on Expedia doubled following Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s announcement to relax border control measures.”

Flight searches to Japan on Expedia almost doubled (+90%) on the day of the announcement (22 September) compared to the last 14-day (8 to 21 September) average. Search demand for hotels in Japan saw an 85% increase on the day of the announcement, compared to the last 14-day (8 to 21 September) average.

For the upcoming year-end holiday season (November – December 2022), intra-Asia destinations are trending strongly, with seven out of the top searched cities found to be within Asia*.

“The reopening of Japan, and easing of quarantine measures in Taiwan position Asia as a strong aviation hub, with Tokyo and Taipei, now reopening as international corridors for long haul flights from the US and across Asia,” said Rajaram.

* Based on flight search data on Expedia.com.sg for trips in November to December.

The top 10 destinations for the year-end holidays

  1. Bangkok, Thailand
  2. Seoul, South Korea
  3. Bali, Indonesia
  4. Phuket, Thailand
  5. London, United Kingdom
  6. Paris, France
  7. Maldives
  8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  9. Tokyo, Japan
  10. Johor Bahru, Malaysia

(Source: Expedia)

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