The number of travel bookings to Europe made for January – March has risen by 40 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, according to a report presented by four major Japanese travel agencies.
On the other hand, the number of travelers who have booked package tours from Japan to China dropped by 85 percent due to the tensioned relationship between the two countries.
Yen’s appreciation led to a growing number of overseas trips, boosting numbers by 14 percent for Guam and Saipan and by 12 percent for Hawaii, the agencies said. However, China is an exception due to the territorial conflicts it is having with Japan, according to Kyodo news agency.
The travel agencies estimate that 18.7 million Japanese tourists will travel abroad in 2013, hitting a record high for the second straight year.
At the end of 2012, Japan witnesses a rush of travelers returning to their hometowns for the New Year holidays. Most trains and domestic flights were fully booked on Saturday, while the international flights bound for Europe and Hawaii were almost packed because of the longer holiday period this year.