Travel reservations to Japan are expected to spike after Tokyo announced plans to abolish its daily ceiling of 50-thousand overseas travelers and allow visa-free travel starting from October 11.
The nation’s flag carrier, Korean Air, reported that booking volume for flights to Japan in October tripled from September, while the booking rate jumped by 24 percentage points.
Budget carrier Jeju Air's Incheon-Narita route saw the booking rate for October surge from the 40-percent range as of September 5 to the mid-50s as of Wednesday, while the rate for its Incheon-to-Sapporo flight jumped from the mid-50s to the mid-80-percent range.
Local travel agencies also reported that reservations have jumped to levels last seen prior to a boycott of Japanese products in 2019 sparked by Tokyo's export curbs against South Korea in apparent retaliation over colonial-era issues.
Changes in Japan’s travel policy follow its earlier suspension of mandatory pre-entry COVID-19 testing and allowing entry for group tours without a travel guide, which had already prompted a steady rise in the number of travelers from South Korea.