Cherry blossom is bringing tourists [Trend of overseas visitors in 2018 and expectation for 2019]

From which country people visit Japan the most during the cherry blossom season?

AUN Consulting, Inc. (Tokyo, CEO: Akira Shida) operates global consulting services such as marketing services (SEM services, online advertising, etc.) and asset management service in nine countries in Asia. The company also operationalized SEO before other countries in Asia, and they have reached their 21st year in June 2018.

AUN Consulting did a research on the trend of visiting Japan in April, the cherry blossom season, based on the number of days of stay and the number of times searched by people from overseas.


The peak month of visit from Taiwan and Southeast Asia is April

To find out from which country people visit Japan the most during the cherry blossom season (April), AUN Consulting did a research on Asian countries that already have the high rate of visiting Japan and North American countries, Oceanian countries, and European countries that Japan needs to attract more.

As a result, people from the following six countries including Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and the Philippines visited Japan the most in April.

Table 1 (Number of visitors in 2018: Pink-Most visited, Blue-Least visited / From top to bottom: Total, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, India, France)

Note. Adapted from “Monthly/Yearly Statistical Data by Visitor Arrivals to Japan and Japanese Overseas Travelers” by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)

Holidays and school systems in each country are one of the reasons

Taiwan has holidays called Qingming Festival and Children’s Day in April, and they had 5 days holiday from April 4 to 8 in 2018. And Thailand celebrates their new year called Songkran from April 13 to 16, and they had 5 days holiday from April 12 to 16 in 2018.

In the Philippines, their school holidays are from early April to early June. Southeast Asian people value the time spending with family, and they often travel overseas during the holidays. Therefore, those cultures and holiday systems could be one of the reasons that more people from those countries visit Japan.

Which cherry blossom spots are the most popular?

People are becoming more interested in tourist places where they can enjoy cherry blossom in February and March

The following table shows the most searched places for cherry blossom per month from Taiwan. Although the numbers vary, the number of searches reach its peak in March and it shows that people are more interested to visit cherry blossom spots in that month.

In addition, in the Philippines and Vietnam, the number of searches regarding cherry blossom spots increases from January to March.

The Philippines: Himeji Castle (March: 1,600 / Yearly avrg.: 1,290); Kiyomizu-dera Temple (January and February: 1,600 / Yearly avrg.: 1,290); and Ueno Zoo (March: 720 / Yearly avrg.: 552)

Vietnam: Kiyomizu-dera Temple (March: 590 / Yearly avrg.: 383)

Table 2 (Number of searches from Taiwan: Blue-Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Orange-Shinjuku Gyoen, Gray-Himeji Castle, Yellow-Osaka Castle, Light blue-Hikone Castle)

*The number of times searched using Keyword Planner Tool of Google AdWords

In Southeast Asia, there are no clear differences between each season. Therefore, to experience snow or cherry blossom, or other things that they cannot see in their own countries, they travel overseas. Also, nowadays, tourism agencies in provincial areas can spread their tourism information to the world through social media. And by utilizing natural tourism resources, there have been more potential for attracting people to provincial areas.

AUN Consulting will keep offering useful information through search engine market on inbound tourism.

About the Research

Cherry blossom is bringing tourists – From which country people visit Japan the most during the cherry blossom season?

<Research Overview>
Targeted countries and areas: Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, India, France
Research period: March 1, 2019 – March 20, 2019
Period covered in the research: January – Decebmer 2018