Monday, September 21, 2009

Japan market is still a big chunk

People are focusing on China and Korea market and that is a good strategy to expand niche market. However, what I would like to emphasize is that Japan is still one of the biggest chunks of the global market. For instance,
  • Japan has a population of 127 million and is the third-largest economy in the world, with a national GDP of USD 4.2 trillion.
  • Japan's outbound travel market is currently flat at 17 million outbound passengers per year, but it is projected by the Japan Association of Travel Agents to increase to 20 million by 2010.
  • Japanese travellers remain among the world's biggest spenders per person during their travels, making the Japanese market of critical importance for destinations seeking a high-spend/high-value visitor.
  • The Japanese travel market is highly fragmented with over 800 wholesale tour operators and more than 8,200 travel agencies (agency networks, business travel, online travel, etc.) throughout the nation.
  • Many Japanese agencies create and sell their own packages to cater to niche markets and special interests which are particular to Japan.
For California tourism, Japan is the second biggest market overseas.
In this slow economy, it is natural for us to struggle to gain more market share and gain more revenue by trying new stuff. But nobody wants to make mistakes that starbucks has recently made. In other words, we need to be true to the basic and keep attract the current major customers.

Japan might be one of the hardest countries in the world to do business because their business style and customer needs are elusive. They accept lots of grey zone. It might be hard to guess what they are thinking. From my experience, the essence for success in Japan market is cusotmer service, compassion, and trust.

Japan is hurting economically just as the U.S. but at the same time it is true that there are 8 million baby-boomers receiving retirement bonus and their wives (!) are seeking the destination for their next trip. What I like about the tourism industry in Asia is that the more storytelling I offer, the more people get attracted and make a move.

Everyone in the world knows where the U.S. is, even kids and elderies. But they might not exactly know the U.S as their postential tourism destionation. All we want is their paradigm shift.

By the way, I enjoy reading Japan Intercultural Consulting's blog. Their topics are so get-to-the-point. You will get the big picture of how Japanese market and the Japanese business people are as well as Japanese business culture you will experience in business occasion.

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