DON’T expect the Japanese tourism market to rebound any time soon. That’s the key message from two of Japan’s biggest wholesalers – JTB and Jalpak, which both report slumping demand. Travel Vision reports that Fumiyuki Kitajima, President and CEO of JTB World Vacations, is perplexed by the present market.

"Cancellations come in persistently week after week. We don’t witness their shift to domestic travel either as a substitute, which is quite new to us. The hikes of oil surcharge and the struggling economy are deteriorating travel market … (it’s an) extraordinary situation."

The biggest falls are in estimated summer travel to Oceania (-17%) and China (-53%). The US (+8%), Asia (+4%) and Micronesia (+4%) have held up best. Meanwhile, Jalpak, part of Japan Airlines, reports that total summer travel numbers will fall 20% to 170,000 pax. Unlike JTB, Jalpak is down in all markets with Oceania off 24% over the previous year. Its forecasts aren’t looking good, either. Travel Trends: July 19, 2008

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