About WiT Japan & North Asia 2020

Last year, the Rugby World Cup served as the warm-up act for the main highlight – the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics this year. Yet Japan’s time in the international spotlight is far from over as it gears up to host the World Expo in 2025 as well. Find out what the nation has planned to raise tourism momentum even higher with its new target of 60m visitors by 2030, from 40m in 2020. It’s a pivotal moment for Japan, as well as the rest of North Asia, as everyone bets big on travel.


Here are the facts you need to know about Planet Travel in Japan and North Asia.

(*source: Phocuswright Japan Online Travel Overview 2019)


Japan is the second-largest travel market after China, but growth is slowing.

  • Gross bookings are projected to reach US$97.7 billion in 2018, making it just under three-fifths the size of China’s.
  • Gross bookings are projected to climb to $107 billion by 2020, before falling 3% in 2021 after the Olympics.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics makes its impact this year.

  • Market growth will accelerate to 5.8% in 2020 partly from Tokyo hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics before seeing a correction of about 3% in 2021.
  • Japan is on track to reach its 40m visitors target in 2020, having drawn in 31m in 2018.

Online growth is incremental; offline is still vital.

  • Overall online penetration was 41% in 2018 and will grow to 47% by 2022 when the online market is forecast to reach $49.6 billion.
  • In 2018, nearly six in 10 travel bookings were projected to occur offline. Slow online growth reflects consumers’ preference for book rail offline through kiosks.

Mobile continues to make its mark

    • $14.1 billion, (just over one third of online travel bookings) came from mobile devices in 2018.
    • Superapps are still on the rise, blurring lines between industries and capturing consumers through tech, scale and frequency of use. Just look at LINE Travel, Trip.com and WeChat.

In its ninth year, WiT Japan & North Asia will reveal patterns driving the region’s explosive growth in travel. It will take a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in individual markets and how technology is a driving force for that change. In this new decade, WiT will uncover what new opportunities are on the rise and how to seize them. At WiT 2020, we will take a bird’s eye view of where we are today and connect the dots, and project into the future. We will ask you to help us imagine the future as we stand at the edge of a new decade so that together, we will face it whatever it may bring.


WiT is Asia’s leading digital travel media and events platform with content focused around how technology is changing travel and behaviour in the world’s fastest growing market. Its signature conference in Singapore, launched in 2005, attracts more than 500 travel industry professionals from around the world. 

WiT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northstar Travel Group, the leading B2B information and marketing solutions company serving all segments of the travel industry including leisure/retail, corporate/business travel, business and sports, meetings, incentives and travel technology.