Can you name the world's top three travel destinations for business and leisure travelers?
This might come as a surprise because if you were expecting some exotic locations you were wrong.
The United States comes in first, with 20% of respondents taking a global survey on travel preferences. Britain is right behind with 19%. And Japan, which suffered some devastating setbacks earlier this year, comes in a very surprising third place with 16%.
Good News for Japan!
Which is very good news for the travel industry in this earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power ravaged country. Inbound arrivals plummeted earlier this year when the country was hit by this triple whammy.
But interest in visiting the Land of the Rising Sun appears to be on the rise – especially among the foot loose and fancy free in neighboring countries in Asia.
Is it possible that the short term loss in inbound travel could result in a long term gain? There is a theory that sometimes the initial negative publicity emanating from a natural disaster, which frightens off would be travelers in the short term, turns into a long term gain because it raises awareness of a travel destination thanks to saturation coverage in the media.
The Japanese people, meanwhile, seem to have attracted a great deal of respect owing to their stoic and orderly reaction to the crisis.
Strong Demand from Greater China
Not surprisingly, Japan – with 57% - was the top travel destination for respondents in Taiwan, a Japanese colony for 50 years. Cultural and economic ties between Japan and Taiwan remain close.
With 33%, it was the number two destination for respondents from China, who preferred Australia, which got 36%.
“While Japan has always been a firm favorite among travelers from Hong Kong and Greater China as has been noted in both this year's and our previous surveys, we re-ran the survey in Mainland China in August this year to assess how much the March tsunami affected traveler sentiments,” says Ross Jackson, Head of Cross-Border Business, Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa at Visa.
“The survey, very encouragingly, found that Mainland Chinese respondents still rank Japan among their top destinations. This is in line with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Destination Trends that international arrivals to Japan have picked up slightly post-tsunami. Our survey findings present great news hinting at a strong recovery and boost for the afflicted Japanese economy.”
A total of 11,620 from 23 countries and territories took part in the survey.