As the Japanese outbound market recovers from a 5.4 per cent year-on-year decline in January to mid-March last year to a 4.1 per cent increase in the same period this year, Asia-Pacific is seeing the largest gain in market share, according to ForwardKeys.
While Africa and the Middle East recorded most drastic growth in Japanese arrivals with over six per cent increase, Asia-Pacific, which saw an increase of 4.7 per cent, continues to hold the largest market share (60.1 per cent).
Within Asia-Pacific, Australia and Hong Kong were the biggest winners, both seeing increases of more than 30 per cent. Other Northeast Asian destinations, including China, South Korea and Taiwan also saw good growth from Japan.
On the other hand, the US island territory of Guam saw a 27.6 per cent decline in Japanese travellers.
Total Japanese outbound travel was down in 2016 partly because of concerns about safety following terrorist attacks in Europe, according to ForwardKeys. However, in the year to date, Europe, with a 17.5 per cent market share, has seen a one per cent growth in Japanese arrivals, after slumping 16.4 per cent in 2016.
Meanwhile, inbound and outbound forward bookings for Australia over the next six months are both 12 per cent ahead of the same period last year, the ForwardKeys data also revealed.
Australian inbound numbers from Asia-Pacific are fuelled by growth from Indonesia (133 per cent), Hong Kong (72 per cent) and China (45 per cent). However, New Zealand, the largest feeder market for Australia, is currently lagging 11 per cent in forward bookings.
Within the Asia Pacific region, Australian travellers are booking in increasing numbers to Malaysia (ahead 64 per cent), India (48 per cent) and Indonesia (46 per cent), compared to the same six months last year.