Learn About Areas Visited Together
Grasping travel routes is indispensable for fine-tuning the sharing of information and brushing up model routes in order to attract more people to a region and increase spending. There are popular courses such as the Golden Route and the Dragon Route, but how are foreign travelers who actually visit regions moving around? It's not necessarily the case that there is a strong correlation between prefectures that are geographically close to each other. Travel routes change based on aspects such as transportation and tourist attractions, too.
This column has the theme of " Learn About Areas Visited Together," and will provide examples gathered by looking at Japan travel routes to explore inward and outward flows from/to other prefectures, travel routes within prefectures, and the like.
*The data used in this column is from November of 2019 and after, but as a result of COVID-19, travel restrictions have been placed on overseas travel in many countries from March of 2020. Accordingly, data figures from March of 2020 until now are reference values. The results provided in this column indicate trends in winter of fiscal 2019. (The data is current as of January of 2021)
Routes into Kanazawa: From Osaka for Asians and Kyoto for Europeans, Americans, and Australians
We looked into one-day Japan travel routes for Asians, and for Europeans, Americans, and Australians, using Ishikawa Prefecture as an example.
Dashboard, "Travel Route for One Day" (Ishikawa Prefecture: Asia)
Top 5 Travel Routes Including Ishikawa Prefecture (Asia)
1st Place: Osaka City - Kanazawa City
2nd Place: Kanazawa City - Kyoto City
Kanazawa City - Shirakawa Village - Kanazawa City
4th Place: Kyoto City - Kanazawa City
5th Place: Kanazawa City - Takayama City
Dashboard, "Travel Route for One Day" (Ishikawa Prefecture: Europe & Americas & Australia)
Top 5 Travel Routes Including Ishikawa Prefecture (Europe & Americas & Australia)
1st Place: Kyoto City - Kanazawa City
2nd Place: Kanazawa City - Kyoto City
3rd Place: Takayama City - Kanazawa City
4th Place: Osaka City - Kanazawa City
Kanazawa City - Osaka City
Kanazawa City - Takayama City
Within Ishikawa Prefecture, the city of Kanazawa, which is easily accessible by railway, has the strongest connections to other prefectures. In particular, travel between Kanazawa and locations in the Kansai region, such as Osaka and Kyoto, are seen to be some of the most popular. While Asians entering Kanazawa most commonly come from Osaka, Kyoto is the most common starting point for Europeans, Americans, and Australians. From this, we can see that even for inflow from Kansai, the departure point differs depending on travelers' countries and regions.
Kanazawa has a strong connection with Gifu Prefecture, and routes to locations such as Takayama and Shirakawa, the site of Shirakawa-go, are seen to be some of the most popular. In particular, routes such as Kanazawa-Shirakawa-Kanazawa are high-ranking for Asians, indicating that such travelers stay Kanazawa as a hub when they go to Shirakawa-go for tourism. Moreover, another distinctive feature of Asians is the finding that there are travelers who enter Kanazawa from Toyama. Further, we also see inflow from Taito in Tokyo, implying that such travelers access Kanazawa by using the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Ueno.
Asians Use Osaka as a Hub and Tour Kyoto and Nara in a Triangle, while Europeans, Americans, and Australians Sometimes Enter Nara from Koyasan
Using Nara Prefecture as an example, we looked at the differences in travel routes between Asians on the one hand and Europeans, Americans, and Australians on the other.
Dashboard, "Travel Route for One Day" (Nara Prefecture: Asia)
Top 5 Travel Routes Including Nara Prefecture (Asia)
1st Place: Osaka City - Nara City - Osaka City
2nd Place: Kyoto City - Nara City - Kyoto City
Osaka City - Nara City
4th Place: Nara City - Osaka City
5th Place: Kyoto City - Nara City
Dashboard, "Travel Route for One Day" (Nara Prefecture: Europe & Americas & Australia)
Top 5 Travel Routes Including Nara Prefecture (Europe & Americas & Australia)
1st Place: Kyoto City - Nara City - Kyoto City
2nd Place: Osaka City - Nara City - Osaka City
3rd Place: Nara City - Kyoto City
4th Place: Nara City - Osaka City
5th Place: Osaka City - Nara City
It can be seen that when traveling to Nara, one-day trips from either Osaka or Kyoto are common. Of such trips, similar to the example of Ishikawa Prefecture, it is apparent that for Asians, there is a strong connection to Osaka, while for Europeans, Americans, and Australians, there is a strong connection to Kyoto. This is thought to be because travelers from Asia often enter Japan from Kansai International Airport and use Osaka City as a tourism hub when traveling.
The most common routes to Nara were one-day trips between Osaka and Nara or Kyoto and Nara, but for Asians, we also saw routes involving departing from Osaka, going around to Kyoto and Nara, and returning to Osaka. This is distinctive in that looking at that route on a map, the line of travel is connected in the shape of a triangle. It is presumed that Asians go around to more tourist spots in one day because compared to travelers from Europe, the Americas, and Australia, their stays in Japan have durations of fewer days.
On the other hand, for Europeans, Americans, and Australians, most one-day trips are from Kyoto or Osaka. The largest number of visitors visited from Kyoto on a one-day trip, but about the same number visited from Osaka on a one-day trip, indicating that people visit Nara as part of their sightseeing tour of Kyoto or Osaka. In addition, inflow from Koya in Wakayama Prefecture, which is famous for Koyasan, a holy place of Shingon Buddhism, which was founded by Kobo Daishi about 1200 years ago, can also be seen, indicating that there is also inflow over broad areas.
In this column, we looked into travel routes with a focus on flows between prefectures. For travel routes between municipalities, it is difficult to get accurate results using questionnaires and the like; this is information that can be grasped precisely because GPS data is being used.
By finding out about travel routes, we can grasp how many travelers are visiting via current model routes, and also what routes they are traveling other than the model routes. Instead of guessing, please have a look at the data to see which inflow/outflow routes to/from regions are actually common.
Reference: Data used for this column
Bonus: Low Usage of Package Products When Making Advance Reservations?
On the Japan Tourism Statistics website, you can see data about the arrangement methods of trips. We mentioned that the travel routes we investigated in this column can be utilized to brush up model routes, but how should model routes be utilized?
Looking at data for arrangement methods for trips in 2019, 72.6% of visitors who came for the purposes of sightseeing and leisure arranged their trips separately, without using group tours or package products for individual travel.
Instead of focusing only on developing travel products as packages, it may also be possible to extend lengths of stay within regions and increase spending by developing tour products with departures/arrivals in Japan, aimed at travelers who make personal arrangements, and presenting recommended routes when travelers are gathering information before their trips.