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Domestic travel in Japan expected to surge during Golden Week holidays

TOKYO (XINHUA) – The number of domestic travellers during the upcoming Golden Week string of national holidays beginning at the end of this month is set to surge by almost 70 per cent compared to a year earlier, Japan’s largest travel agency said yesterday.

JTB Corp said it estimates that the number of people heading for local destinations during the spring holidays between late April and early May will be about 16 million based on economic benchmarks and provisional bookings, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Compared to the same holiday period last year, when Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures were under a COVID-19 state of emergency, the figure is up 68.4 per cent.

Compared to the same time frame in 2019, however, before the pandemic hit, JTB said the number was in fact down 33.4 per cent, according to NHK.

As for the upcoming spring holidays, domestic travellers overall plan to take longer trips compared to past two years, according to an online survey. The survey showed that 36.1 per cent of respondents said they plan to take an overnight trip and stay for two days, although this is a slight drop of 3.1 per cent compared to a year ago.

Those planning to make a three-day-two-night trip comprised 32.6 per cent of those surveyed, rising four per cent from a year earlier, and those booking a four-day trip were 17.1 per cent of the total, which was an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to the previous year.

People walk through the Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo. PHOTO: XINHUA