DatabankSurvey finds that Asia has the highest number globally of those who don’t wish to venture far from home.

Going nowhere: Japan’s ‘never travellers’

Some 35% of Japanese surveyed say that they don't intend to travel ever again.
Some 35% of Japanese surveyed say that they don't intend to travel ever again. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/oneinchpunch

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 abroad.”

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.

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