What are the psychological characteristics of Japanese tourists? What factors will attract this group of tourists to Vietnam more in the future?
The number of Japanese tourists to Vietnam is always in the top 3 rankings. According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the first three months of 2020 welcome visitors from Japan, only after China and South Korea.
More open to foreign travel
Traveling out of one’s home country has become a more normal thing for the new generation of Japanese.
According to JTB (the largest travel agency in Japan), in 2004, 48% of travelers made their first overseas trip, while 4% said it was their 10th or more trip. surname. Since the first such survey in 1989, the number of Japanese overseas has steadily increased;
Data from 2004 showed that 51% of Japanese respondents had traveled abroad. These factors alone account for the growing sophistication of Japanese tourists.
Stick with a tourist destination
- Japanese people nowadays tend to stay longer in one destination instead of visiting as many places as possible, and they want to ‘experience’ rather than just observe foreign lifestyles and cities (Nozawa 1992);
- According to Nozawa (1992), modern Japanese tourists are people with “high spending, enthusiastic shopping psychology, concern about the quality of products and services. They are also concerned about safety and understand that it is difficult for them to communicate in a foreign language”;
- Long working hours and lack of holidays are still the biggest drawbacks to traveling abroad with Japanese. Although the government has taken a new initiative to reduce working hours and increase holidays, Japanese companies still do not accept this change! (Carlile 1996)…
The “escape” mentality
The Japanese are known for their discipline and love for work. Images of exhausted and collapsed Japanese people at work are increasingly common, so travel for them is an “escape from city life”.
For Japanese tourists, travel is an opportunity to see ‘nature’, participate in sports and recreational activities that Japanese tourists cannot often do in their home country.
- The younger generation of Japanese is increasingly interested in experiencing nature rather than simply sightseeing. Findings of Japanese favorite destinations consistently show that the natural setting, safety and cultural history are the main attractions for Japanese tourists (Morris 1990; Nozawa 1992; Moeran 1983; Nishiyama 1989). ; You, O’Leary, Morrison and Hong 2000);
A literature review of activity options indicates that natural viewing, shopping, food and sightseeing are the main activities that the Japanese enjoy when traveling (JTB 2005; Lang, O’Leary and Morrison 1993; NZTB 2005).
- Other studies on Japanese travel motivations show that knowledge and adventure are important motivations for Japanese people to decide to travel somewhere (Cha, McLeary and Uysal 1995; Moeran 1983; Nishiyama 1996). ; Woodside and Jacobs 1985; Kim and Lee 2000; Anderson, Prentice and Watanabe 2000; Heung, Qu and Chu 2001; Jang, Morrison and O’Leary 2002; NZTB 2005).
From the psychological characteristics of this Japanese tourist, travel agencies can consider the following aspects:
- Tourism advertising publications should emphasize fresh natural beauty, art and culture. If Japanese is used in these publications, words such as utsukushii (beautiful), yūdai (great), yutaka (luxury) and yogore no nai (unpolluted) should be used (Moeran 1989);
- Developing forms of healing tourism, health care (mud bath, therapy, reflexology…)
- Food is another important topic. This is one of the factors that Japanese people care about when having the opportunity to travel abroad.
Prefers group travel and needs a sense of security
The Japanese mainly travel by package tours (Carlile 1996; Dace 1995; Lang. O’Leary and Morrison 1993; Nozawa 1992). Studies have shown a number of reasons why Japanese people have an easy mentality to travel in groups as follows:
- Easy to organize and cost-effective (Carlile 1996);
- Lack of confidence when communicating and relatively inexperienced Japanese tourists (Carlile 1996). Fukada’s (1979) note that these language difficulties, a feeling of being too surprised when abroad, a general feeling of insecurity when traveling make Japanese people more comfortable when traveling in groups;
To support this psychological weakness, travel agencies need to have policies to support and train specialized staff… to better serve and bring a greater sense of peace of mind to Japanese tourists. .
In short, the desire to escape, the feeling of relaxation and spending time with family are the things that Japanese tourists want to have when traveling. In addition, package tours with experienced guides are still popular forms of tourism. However, high service expectations and language as well as time and cost issues still seem to be the biggest limitations for Japanese tourists.
Reference and translation from research: Japanese Travel Culture: An Investigation of the Links between Early Japanese Pilgrimage and Modern Japanese Travel Behaviour (Leah Watkins, University of Otago)