Japan is buzzing as exciting country hosts ABTA, Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics

It’s good news for the travel industry – Brits are planning more holidays despite whatever happens with Brexit.

Seven out of 10 people intend taking a break abroad next year, according to an ABTA report.

The association’s delegates gathered in Tokyo this week for its annual convention, still reeling from the closure of holiday giant Thomas Cook.

ABTA CEO Mark Tanzer said the pain was being felt by customers, operators, agents and hotels. He added: “There’s a lot of anger and fear and desire to find someone to blame.”

But he said the industry should come together firstly to support workers who had lost their jobs and then look at what lessons are to be learned from the shutdown.

So what does the future hold? Here’s some highlights from ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report.

Nearly nine out of 10 Brits took a holiday this year, the highest since 2011.

Europe is still a top choice, mainland Spain, the Canaries, the Balearics, Greece and Turkey.

Families with older children, aged five and over, took an average of 5.6 holidays. Sounds a lot but it can include parents have a night away or visiting family.

Holidaymakers want quality with more than half staying in a four-star property.

More young travellers are booking in-store and the number of 18-34 year olds booking a cruise has risen by six per cent.

Around 330,000 Brits have visited Japan over the past year – boosted by the Rugby World Cup.

And it’s expected to soar again next year when Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics. The New National Stadium, which cost $1.4 billion and will hold 60,000 spectators, will be finished next month.


First look: The New National Stadium in Tokyo will be finished next month

Japan’s ultra-modern capital boasts skyscrapers of shimmering steel and glistening glass, flash monorails and the bullet train.

For the capital of a country steeped in history, tradition, discipline and rules, the Japanese have some surprising pastimes. Along many Tokyo streets, you’ll find garish, neon-lit buildings that contain lines of slot machines.

There’s nothing you can’t buy in Japan, see www.japan.travel for areas to visit.

And the Japanese love karaoke, you can hire private booths and sing to your hearts content.

Blowing your nose in public is seen as rude and unhygienic.
Japanese celebrate Christmas by eating KFC.
There are 66 million cherry blossom trees in Japan.
There’s a motorway in Osaka, which goes through a 16-storey building.
Japan boasts 300 limited-edition flavours of Kit Kat including plum, wasabi and sweet potato.
Japan is 70 per cent mountain with over 100 active volcanoes.
There are more than 500 ski resorts in Japan, the largest in the world.
Temperatures range from -41C to 36C.
The oldest person currently alive is a 116-year-old woman.
Slurping noodles is acceptable as it enhances the flavour.
The Shinkansen, known as the Bullet Train, runs at over 320kms an hour.
One of Japan’s international airports, Kansai, hasn’t lost a bag in 20 years.