Figures released by the Japanese Tourist Organization indicate a dramatic downturn in Japanese outbound travel following 911 .
Figures for November 2001 show a more than 41% decrease in travel ex-Japan when compared to the same month just one year earlier. In total, only 890,000 Japanese took an overseas trip last November.
With the Japanese representing one of Indonesia's largest source of tourists, concerns in the local industry are that the situation may worsen. And there is little sign that the Japanese 'fear of flying' is diminishing, a situation further complicated by a national economy in serious trouble and the Yen trading at three year lows. Travel abroad for the average Japanese has suddenly become both expensive and unattractive.
Suspicions that the Japanese are electing to stay home were further strengthened by a lackluster performance in outbound travel from Japan over the traditionally peak Christmas and New Year's Period. During the period December 22 through January 6, Japanese outbound travel dropped 15.8 percent.
Following the tragedy of September 11, Bali hotels and tour operators saw group travel ex Japan suddenly evaporated, compensated only slightly by a modest increase in individual travelers from Japan as people switched their holidays from Hawaii and the U.S. mainland to Southeast Asian destinations, such as Bali.
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