India-Japan travel to be affected due to Tsunami

"Japan has recently identified India has a preferred tourism destination. This gives a huge opportunity to India. However, this incident will definitely have an impact on tourism at least for the next two-three months," STIC Travel Group Chairman Subhash Goyal told PTI.

Japan was hit by a major earthquake on March 11, which was followed by massive tsunami causing widespread destruction and loss of several lives.
The fear of a nuclear disaster might also make it difficult for the situation to get under control soon.

"For the immediate short term, there are hundreds of flight cancellations to or via Tokyo. Our suppliers and tour operators in Japan have already advised not to travel to Japan as there are fears of more Tsunamis and the country has also declared a nuclear emergency," Pearl International Tours & Travel (PITT) Executive Director Arjun Seth said.
Operations at the Narita International Airport in Tokyo, which is a major hub for airlines and the only airport that connects Japan to India, is unlikely to start in full swing anytime soon, according to observers.

Both the inbound and outbound travel from Japan will get impacted due to the disaster.
"Outbound traffic to Japan is going to take a hit from India. Although, numbers that travel to Japan for leisure have been relatively moderate over the years, it does affect business and corporate travel movement," Seth said.

Inbound business from Japan is going to take a huge hit as during the school holidays (March-April) thousands of Japanese tourist visit nearby Asian countries like China, India and Thailand, he added.

According to the industry estimates, about one lakh people travel between India and Japan every year, which is split almost equally between outbound and inbound travellers.
While Indians mostly travel for business to Japan, Japanese come here mainly for leisure and religious purposes (the Buddhist circuit).

For an Indian travelling to Japan, a five nights trip on an average costs around Rs 65,000 per person.

According to MakeMyTrip Chief Marketing Officer Mohit Gupta, the exact impact of the disaster on tourist movement is still uncertain.

"Though the impact on business is yet to be seen, but this unfortunate disaster will affect both business travel and leisure," he added.

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