35% of People From This Country Say They’ll Never Travel Again

Not everyone suffers from the post-pandemic travel itch

Mt. Fuji and Tokyo skyline. 35% of Japanese respondents to a Morning Consult survey say they never want to travel again.
No travel bug for this population.

Early last year, experts proclaimed that 2021 would be, for a variety of reasons — the vaccines, chief among them — the next “golden age of travel.” The idea was that, after the better part of a year spent in lockdown, people would be champing at the bit to get back on the road and into the friendly skies. Bookings would surge, the industry would recover and we would all be better, more mindful travelers for it.

Except that’s not entirely accurate. For some — entire swaths of people, in fact — the pandemic served as the perfect excuse to never travel again.

According to a new survey by the global intelligence company Morning Consult, which included 16,000 adults in 15 countries, Asia is home to the highest percentage of respondents who claim they’ll likely never travel again. Per their State of Travel & Hospitality report, 15% of South Korean and 14% of Chinese participants said they’d never travel again, while a staggering 35% of Japanese respondents said they never plan to travel again.

And they seem to be putting their money where their mouth is (or, rather, not). Per CNBC, only around 386,000 Japanese travelers ventured overseas in the month of August (when Morning Consult’s survey published) compared to an estimated 2.1 million in August of 2019. Experts believe the reluctance has to do with both COVID risk as well as a weakened yen.

That said, even in 2019,  only about 23% of Japanese citizens held passports — which, according to CNBC, is the lowest rate among G7 nations. So disinterest in travel among the Japanese isn’t exactly a novel concept, but the already-low numbers are definitely waning.

Of course, when you have a country as rich in history and culture as Japan, it’s easy to see why its residents would feel content to stay put. It’s also worth noting that they aren’t the only ones with indefinite plans to do just that — 14% of Americans said they’d never travel again after the pandemic, so the urge to get back onto the road and into the friendly skies? Hardly an unanimous one as fate would have it.


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