Trends in Japan

Pacific Island Ranked Top Honeymoon Destination

JUNE 3, 1996

Offshore Wedding Boom
Hawaii is now the honeymoon destination of choice for one in four newlywed couples, according to a finding by a major travel agency.

The agency surveyed 2,500 couples who honeymooned between March and May this year. It also reported that couples spent an average of eight days in the Polynesian resort. Until the 1970s most Japanese spent their honeymoons at domestic destinations. Overseas trips began increasing from around 1980, and by the latter half of the 1980s, up to 90% of just-marrieds took off for foreign shores, encouraged by the stronger yen.

Initially Hawaii topped the popularity stakes. Then the 1990s saw Australia become the number one favorite for four straight years.

Last year Hawaii regained its top position. The reason was an increase in the number of couples choosing to wed and honeymoon in the same place. Hawaii fit the bill, being an easy destination to take guests along to as well.

Australia may have fallen from the top, but it remained a very popular destination, ranking second with around 20% of the market. In third place was the U.S. mainland, a favorite for its theme parks, rising 6 points from 1995 to reach 18%.

Tighter Purse Strings

How much are people spending on their honeymoons? The amount has been declining since 1991 due to the recession following the collapse of the "bubble economy." The average for this year of 578,000 yen (5,450 dollars at 106 yen to the dollar) represented the first time that spending dipped below 600,000 yen since 1983.

This year people managed to get by on around 230,000 yen less than in the peak year of 1990, when the average cost of a honeymoon was 807,000 yen (7,610 dollars). Lower prices due to the higher yen and the waning popularity of comparatively expensive trips to Europe were the biggest factors behind this trend.

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