Examining the Seasonality of Travel-Related Expenditure by Travel Purpose: The Case of Japan

Kenichi Shimamoto

Abstract


Addressing seasonality for the travel industry has been a challenge for many tourist destinations. Japan is no exception, and with its recent focus on developing into a tourism nation, it has become even more critical to understand seasonality trends. Methods to address seasonality, such as differential pricing, diversified attraction, market diversification, and facilitation by the state will require the segmentation of themarket to formappropriate strategies. Therefore, to provide insight into the seasonality of different markets, this paper categorises the travel-related expenditure into six consumption items for three travel purposes: holiday travel, visiting friends and relatives (vfr) travel, and business travel. It examines the trends and characteristics of the seasonality and the fluctuation across the fiscal years from2010 to 2017 for domestic travel in Japan. The results show that amongst all three travel purposes, the consumption items with relatively low seasonality and fluctuation across the observation period with stable highest and lowest expenditure months over the years, are shopping/travel gifts expenditure for holiday travel; transportation and food/drink expenditure for vfr travel; and transportation expenditure for business travel. In contrast, the consumption items across the travel purposes with relatively significant seasonality and inconsistent highest and lowest expenditure months over the years are package holidays/tours expenditure and attraction/entrance expenditure for vfr and business travel; and accommodation expenditure for business travel.

Keywords: tourism seasonality, consumption items, travel purpose, Japan


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