Photo by David McKelvey
Japan is heading into one its busiest holiday seasons, but tourism is likely to be significantly down this year as a result of the March 11 disasters.
Over the weekend Bloomberg reported that Japan Airlines bookings dropped to its lowest level in more than six years. International reservations during Golden Week, a string of national holidays starting on April 29, fell by 33 percent, and domestic flight bookings dropped by 26 percent compared to last year.
The drop in clients is a major blow to Japan Airlines, which it exited bankruptcy last month. However, they are not the only company suffering. All Nippon Airlines Co. announced earlier that it would be reducing its number of flights as customers figures fall.
Tourism is expected to pick up again as the effects of Japan’s disaster diminish in the east of the country. Last week, the UN World Tourism Organization released a statement saying there is no reason people should avoid travelling to the country, with radiation levels at major airports and ports within safety limits. Great Britain, Canada and the U.S. eased travel restrictions on April 14, and last week Australian and New Zealand lifted their travel advisories. [Bloomberg]