Passports are the best in the world, but less than 30% of Chinese people own them! Why is Japan the least travel-friendly country in the world?

Home » News » Passports are the best in the world, but less than 30% of Chinese people own them! Why is Japan the least travel-friendly country in the world?

After the epidemic is lifted, global tourism is recovering. If you open Facebook and Instagram, you may find that everyone is eager to go out and have fun, and has even flown abroad. However, there is one exception. The Chinese people are not interested in traveling.

Although the Japanese love to come to Taiwan, more than 2 million people came to Taiwan in 2019 before the epidemic, ranking second in the place of residence of tourists to Taiwan, second only to China.

However, Morning Consult, a market research company, surveyed 16,000 adults in 15 countries in the first and second half of this year, and found that 35% of Japanese said they “don’t want to travel again”, the highest in the world. Compared with South Korea (15%), the second highest, and China and the United States (14%), the third highest, the proportion of people in Japan who do not want to go out to play is more than twice that of the second place, which is beyond everyone’s glasses!

Why? In the post-epidemic era, as the United States continues to raise interest rates, the Japanese yen depreciates at an accelerated rate, and wages grow slowly, which greatly increases the financial burden of going abroad. Professor Hideki Furuya of the Department of International Tourism Management at Toyo University added that it is also due to the Japanese culture’s “preference for risk aversion” ”──Worry about the risk of infection and pressure from peers will make Japanese people prefer to travel domestically.

24% of Japanese have passports! In addition to the workplace influence, I am also afraid of not being understood

However, the Japanese do not like to travel abroad, not only affected by the epidemic.

According to data from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), long before the outbreak of the epidemic, from 2000 to 2017, even though globalization has made cross-border travel more and more popular, the number of people going abroad in Japan with a population of 120 million is still only 1,800 per year. Thousands of people wandered up and down, stagnating.

“Language barriers and lack of consecutive holidays are some of the reasons for preferring domestic travel.” Hideki Furuya explained that the workplace environment in Japan and the lack of paid holidays are also influencing factors.

Before the epidemic, “The Economist” reported on “Endangered Tourists” in 2019, pointing out that Japanese passports with chrysanthemums are “the most powerful passports on the surface of the earth”; but only 24% of the population owns passports, almost half of the United States, and the lowest among G7 countries. This year, the British immigration consulting company Henley & Partners announced the ranking of the best passports in the world. Japan has 193 visa-free countries and successfully won the championship for the fifth year in a row.

At that time, he was in charge of promoting overseas tourism. Akimi Morishita, a professor of international tourism at Toyo University who was seconded by the Japan Tourism Agency, estimated that at least two-thirds of Chinese people were indifferent to “going abroad”. Food, and above all, “serious fear of embarrassment of not being understood”.

For young people who have not entered the workplace, the number of overseas students also continued to decline, from a peak of about 83,000 in 2004 to 56,000 in 2016. In addition to the decrease in the number of young people, the burden of going abroad is too high, and there is a shortage of labor in Japan, so if you want to find a good job, you don’t necessarily need an overseas diploma.

Fear of screwing up! I prefer domestic travel to foreign travel

Ashley Harvey, general manager of the Japanese public relations company Aviareps Japan, further explained that the Japanese are particularly worried about language issues, because they do not understand the situation in other countries and social gaffes, such as tipping, etc., “This is called ‘fear of screwing up’ (FOMU, fear of messing up).”

Therefore, compared with going abroad, many Japanese people simply feel that it is better to travel domestically! Furuya Hideki pointed out that Japan’s rich natural beauty, culture, and history are also incentives for Chinese people to stay.

On the other hand, even if you want to experience exotic scenery, domestic tourists can also meet their needs. Deutsche Welle reported that Japanese builders aggressively built theme parks with overseas elements during the economic bubble period, not only at low cost, but also in response to the boom in overseas travel that had just emerged at that time; the epidemic made these theme parks once again the most popular domestic tourism destination.

Western simulated towns in Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, etc. can all be found in Japan. For example, Huis Ten Bosch, a large Dutch theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture, has an area equivalent to that of Morocco, and there is a strong European flavor everywhere from hotels, shops, and restaurants; the only difference is that here, the Japanese people No potential risks of clashing with foreign cultures, any faux pas or embarrassment.

In the post-epidemic era, people are traveling more frequently and for longer periods of time, and the “bucket list” grand tour is becoming more and more popular. But perhaps for Japanese citizens, home is the only place, and there is no other place better than their own country.

  • The Asian nation where 35% of people say they’ll ‘never travel’ again
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  • How Japanese travel ‘abroad’ without leaving home

Daniel J. Brown

Daniel J. Brown (Editor-in-Chief) is a recently retired data analyst who gets a kick out of reading and writing the news. He enjoys good music, great food, and sports, with a slant towards Southern college football, basketball and professional baseball.

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