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Think of the last time you went on holiday. What made you choose your destination, accommodation, and activities while you were there? Some travelers might seek out family and friends for recommendations or check out travel blogs and websites.
When it comes to Japanese travelers, it seems they greatly value and refer to influencer content when looking for inspiration. In fact, four out of five will turn to travel blogs, vloggers or influencers when planning a holiday.
These and other findings are part of the Digital Footprints series of reports that aim to discover online travel needs across 14 markets.
What do travelers really want out of their online booking experience? What gets in their way from finally clicking that purchase button? Who influences their decision making? And how does all this differ across countries? These are some of the questions that are tackled in the next installation of Digital Footprints.
The survey conducted by Opinium on behalf of Amadeus polled over 1,000 Japanese adults who have been on holiday within the past year and use online travel agencies. Here's a more detailed look at some of the findings:
Influencers hold the most sway
When considering new travel destinations, 44% of the sample polled said that they are influenced by travel blogs or websites, 34% by travel magazines and 31% by television programs about the destination. Surprisingly these percentages do not simply relate to a younger 18-34 demographic but is consistent across the board. In fact, over half (53%) of those aged 35-54 are influenced by travel blogs or websites. Even when it comes to choosing their online travel agency, traveler reviews rank as the second most important factor (34%), only slightly behind value for money (45%). This clearly shows the trust a Japanese traveler places in what influencers have to say, with seven out of 10 stating that the information provided is reliable.
Planning and booking with plenty of time
Japanese travelers are great planners – starting their research on a new travel destination at least four months ahead for a shorter trip (of less than 10 days) and five months ahead for a longer holiday. However, almost one third respondents feel researching and booking trips take longer now as compared to two years ago, with 23% saying it takes them less time and 35% the same amount of time. Also, regardless of the duration of the trip, most will visit an average of three online sites for information.
There’s trust in paying for travel online but room for opportunity to personalize the experience
Over two thirds of those surveyed feel confident that paying for travel online is safe and secure when using reputable travel brands which they trust. There is still a desire for greater choice, as 57% would like to see more payment options offered on travel websites. In addition to this, 58% say they would like more personalized travel options and 49% would be happy to share their personal data if it resulted in a faster or more personalized online booking experience.
Want to find out more? Download a copy of Digital Footprints: Discovering Online Traveler Needs in Japan and look out for other market reports that have been published with more to come here.