The end of Covid travel restrictions in much of the world has brought
with it a tsunami of predictions for post-pandemic travel trends:
holidays away from crowds, sustainable travel, local experiences,
musical pilgrimages. The list goes on.
But now another trend has been identified that goes against all the
evidence that international travel is exploding as people escape years
of pandemic lockdown.
It’s the trend of the ‘never travellers’ – those who are happy to put
their passports back in the drawer and settle for a domestic trip.
Global intelligence company Morning Consult’s late 2022 survey of
16,000 adults in 15 countries found that Asia is home to the highest
percentage of people who said they will “never travel” again.
Within Asia, 35% of respondents in Japan said they don’t intend to
travel again – the highest number percentage of any country – while some
15% of South Korean and 14% of Chinese respondents indicated they will
stay close to home.
Kotaro Toriumi, a Japanese aviation and travel analyst, told CNN
Travel that complicated travel procedures and the risk of infection were
curbing interest in overseas travel.
He says that the pandemic has altered the “Japanese mindset”.
“People are realising more and more that there are many attractive
tourist spots within Japan and people can have fun without going
The survey’s findings are not altogether a surprise given that
despite Japan having the world’s most powerful passport, fewer than 20%
of Japanese people actually have passports, according to Japan’s
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.