80% of participants signed up without a destination in mind! Report confirms diversification of travel destinations – sparking hopes of regional route revitalization. Plans to conduct round 2 of trials in 2022
From August to November 2021, KabuK Style Inc, Japan Airlines, and JALPAC Inc. conducted an “Aviation Subscription Service” trial. As lifestyles are diversifying due to changes in societal values (including the advancement of digitalization, reforms in work styles, and the widespread adoption of SDGs), the trial conducted by the three companies was carried out in order to design a service the can adapt to diversifying demands. In order to further support lifestyle diversification by sharing the findings of this trial, we are releasing some of the data on participant attributes and usage trends, as well as the purpose of their participation based on a questionnaire survey. In addition to this, we are planning to further develop the findings from this trial by conducting the second phase of our Aviation Subscription Service trial in 2022.
By offering an aviation subscription service to members of “HafH,” our travel subscription service, KabuK Style proposes a new style of travel: not only conventional business and sightseeing trips, but also a new lifestyle that allows more casual travel, such as workations and multi-location living, both of which have been gaining attention as new lifestyle/ work style choices.
- HafH (Home away from Home) is a service operated by KabuK Style that provides members with accommodation around the world for a fixed monthly fee. As of February 2022, members of our fixed-price service have access to 1040 locations (hotels, ryokan, guesthouses, etc.) in 583 cities across 36 countries and regions.
Participants: 500 HafH members
Product details: One round trip flight paired with a one night stay at a designated hotel up to three times in a three month period
Designated routes: Return flights applicable on 10 flight routes from Haneda Airport (Tokyo) (Shin-Chitose, Kushiro, Yamagata, Komatsu, Nanki-Shirahama, Kochi, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, Naha, Miyako)
Cost: JPY36,000 (and 100 HafH Coins for each hotel reservation)
Dedicated webpage: https://www.hafh.com/lp/jal/index.html
Announcement: https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000050.000039388.html (Japanese language only)
With the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, and through advancements in digitalization and work style reforms, the option of working remotely has become more mainstream. As commuting frequency for those who choose to work remotely has decreased and incentive to reside in urban areas diminishes, many are also re-evaluating the option of living in areas outside of Tokyo.
The sharing economy is also advancing due to changes in societal values, such as the spread of SDGs, with the option to “share” expanding and becoming more popular, making it possible to lead an affluent lifestyle without physically owning items. The diversification of these options has enabled the diversification of lifestyles. Diversified lifestyles mean diversified customer attributes, and so companies are also diversifying their services to meet diverse customer needs.
The diversification of these options has enabled the diversification of lifestyles. Diversified lifestyles mean diversified customer attributes, and so companies are also diversifying their services to meet diverse customer needs. This is also supported by the detailed understanding of customer needs through the advancement of digitalization. Furthermore, diversification of services will promote additional diversification of lifestyles, and this “cycle of diversification” is expected to accelerate.
Diversification of services in the travel industry has become apparent with the emergence of “workation” , a lifestyle combining “work” and “vacation”. New lifestyles are not limited to work-combined “workations,” but are also expected to help grow the size of the travel industry through increased frequency of travel by people who traditionally only traveled a few times a year.
KabuK Style provides services in order to realize lifestyle diversification, and through this trial, we will further expand our services to contribute to the revitalization of Japan’s tourism industry as well as regional areas by increasing demand not only for lodging, but also for air travel.
◼︎Five findings from this trial
- Participation was highest amongst those in their 20s and 30s, and 68% of participants were company employees
- 50% of respondents answered their reason for participating was to go on workation
- 80% answered that they applied for the aviation subscription service without fully deciding on a destination beforehand.
- Diversification of travel destinations
- 75% of participants traveled to a region they had not planned to visit
1)Participation was highest amongst those in their 20s and 30s, and 68% of participants were company employees
Of the 500 participants in this trial, 298 identified as male, 169 identified as female, and 33 identified as other (unanswered). Participants ranged in age from 18 to 72, with an average age of 37 and a median age of 34. As shown in Chart 1, participants in their 20s were the most numerous, accounting for 33% of the total, followed by participants in their 30s, who accounted for 27% of the total. This showed a slightly younger trend than the age distribution of HafH members. Considering that the median age of aircraft passengers is generally between 50 and 54 (according to the “Air Passenger Survey” conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2019), many passengers in their 20s and 30s participated in this demonstration experiment, indicating that younger passengers were at the center of the experiment. This can be attributed to the strong appeal of this form of product to the younger generation, and we expect aviation subscriptions will encourage airline use by younger generations.
As shown in Chart 2, the largest number of participants (68%) were company employees, followed by freelancers (10%) and managers/self-employed (8%). The expansion of remote work has made it possible for company employees to incorporate travel into their daily lives, not just on weekends and holidays, and this shows that many of the company employees that participated in the trial are in tune with current trends and actively trying to integrate travel into their lifestyle.
2)50% of respondents answered their reason for participating was to go on workation
As shown in Chart 3, the largest number of participants (82%) indicated that the purpose of participation in this trial was sightseeing. On the other hand, more than half of the participants indicated they did not travel only for sightseeing, with 50% answering “workation” and 16% answering “business” as their reason for participating. The average number of responses per respondent was 2.4 items, which indicates that many participants had multiple reasons for participating in the trial.
3)80% answered that they applied for the aviation subscription service without fully deciding on a destination beforehand.
The product package for this trial included three round-trip tickets. As shown in Chart 4, 41% of the participants had not decided on the destination at all at the time of purchase, and only 20% of the participants had decided on all three destinations. This means that 80% of participants had not fully decided on where to go when purchasing the package. This differs from the traditional style of travel, where the destination is decided first and the means of transportation purchased after. This confirms that aviation subscription service customers display a different purchasing behavior, where the decision simply to travel comes first and the destination is decided later.
4)Diversification of travel destinations
Chart 5 shows a comparison between this trial and JAL Group’s general passenger ratio for the same period. The figures shows greater destination dispersal among trial participants than JAL Group’s regular passengers for the same time period, with demand increasing for destinations other than Shin-Chitose (37%) and Naha (28%), which rank high on JAL Group’s general destination list.
5)75% of participants traveled to a region they had not planned to visit
As shown on Chart 6, 75% of participants in the trial traveled to a region(s) they had not planned on visiting. This is consistent with the aforementioned 80% of participants who had not fully decided on the destination at the time of application and the resulting destination dispersal. This trend among aviation subscription customers whereby a decision to simply travel comes before a decision on destination, and suggests the possibility of creating new demand.
As shown in Chart 7, 75% of respondents indicated that there are places they would like to visit again, suggesting not only unscheduled visits, but also the possibility of return visitors, creating further demand.
Future Prospects: Plans to conduct round 2 of trials in 2022
The results of this trial provided a number of findings and, as mentioned above, has largely indicated that aviation subscription services can create new demand. This new demand is expected to help revive Japan’s tourism industry, which has been severely damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, and from a medium- to long-term perspective, is also expected to help revitalize regional areas. KabuK Style, together with Japan Airlines, is planning a second round of trials in 2022 with hopes of further enhancing convenience. In addition, with international travel restrictions gradually being lifted, KabuK Style plans to work with foreign airlines as well. KabuK Style will continue to collaborate with not only accommodation facilities, but also airline and other transportation services in order to provide the possibility for new forms of travel.