Japan’s luxury travel industry anticipates recovery in 2022

Growing demand for sustainable, ecological, and social travel is anticipated among high-end visitors 

Repeat travellers will be opting for rural areas, as well as Okinawa and Niseko in Hokkaido. Potus/Shutterstock

According to local industry experts, Japan’s inbound luxury tourism will begin to see recovery in 2022 at the earliest, seeing as borders remain closed to control the outbreak, reported TTG Asia. 

Japan still remains on top of the list of Asian countries, particularly Hong Kong so the interest is still there, said Yuko Inamasu, a representative of luxe cultural experience provider Toki. As soon as the country launches the travel bubbles, they plan to focus on the Asian market for the remainder of 2021 and the rest from spring 2022. 

Hiro Miyatake, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Bear Luxe Corporation, a network connecting global luxury travel designers with Japanese luxury travel suppliers, bets on 2022 for when Japan’s luxury travel recovery will happen, but he did reveal that most of his clients are already keen to travel once borders open up. 

High-end visitors will now be more inclined to stay longer in fewer destinations and will want to experience authentic adventures, more focused on responsible travel. 

He foresees travellers to have a more “slow and deliberate” process and a yearning for “meaningful and mindful travel”. Growing demand for sustainable, ecological, and social travel is anticipated to arise, as per Inamasu. 

Community engagement will also become a priority for visitors, which will be met by the rise in unique accommodations that support their community, including chefs, farmers, artisans, and craftspeople. 

Destinations that exhibit distinct local characteristics can expect higher interest from luxe travellers, particularly those that provide “gastronomic experiences, not just dining in a special restaurant, but also in learning about farm-to-table (initiatives).” 

As for first-time visitors, travel experts believe that they will still prioritise renowned spots in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Mount Fuji, and Hiroshima. Yet, the interest will also spike in other regions for people who prefer fewer crowds and who will want to commit to social distancing. 

 More: Luxe resorts in Greater Niseko hopeful for the return of Japow skiers and the sector’s recovery

Meanwhile, Toki’s survey uncovered that repeat travellers will be opting for rural areas, as well as Okinawa and Niseko in Hokkaido, which bodes well for the winning developers of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Greater Niseko) 2020, namely Niseko Alpine Developments Co Ltd. and Temak Treehouse KK, who have been anticipating the return of tourists since the start of the year.  

Bear Luxe agreed with the findings, disclosing their client’s growing interest in Niseko, Kyoto, Setouchi (Okayama Prefecture), and Nikko (Tochigi Prefecture), which have witnessed surging investments and developments in luxury hotels, likely prompted by the country’s Olympics hosting. 

Know of any award-worthy homes, condos, resorts, or other real estate projects in the Greater Niseko area? Nominate them for the 2021 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Greater Niseko) on or before 24 September 2021. Simply visit asiapropertyawards.com/award/japan/ for more details.  

Gynen Kyra Toriano, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].