The Japan Productivity Center (Mr. Tsuneaki Taniguchi, President) published "White Paper of Leisure 2010: The Challenge of Decreasing Population." This white paper is the only publication that covers the actual leisure activities in Japan in comprehensive and chronological way both from the perspective of demand and supply sides. The paper is based on a survey of actual leisure activities of 3,000 people over age of 15. This is 34th of the paper, which is published since 1977. The summary of the paper is as follows:
1. Japanese Current Leisure Activities
The first half of 2009 was affected by such factors as severe economic slowdown and H1N1 virus. In certain sectors, however, the lower unit price and lower price of toll-ways resulted in increased traffic.
The activity with most participants was "driving," reflecting the lower cost of toll-fee. Other casual leisure as "zoo, botanical garden, aquarium, and museum" was also all popular. The popularity of sporty bicycles resulted in increased traffic of those enjoying "cycling, cycling sports." "Jogging" also remained popular.
The activities that were affected by slower economy and lower unit price were "eating out" and "bar, pub, etc." "Eating out" used to be the activity with the most participants for a long time, but its ranking dropped to 3rd for the first time and the number of participants also declined.
2. Trend of Leisure Industry Market
The size of leisure industry in 2009 was 69.5 trillion Yen, a decline of 4.3% compared to previous year. The slow economy and outbreak of new influenza made the revenue go below 70 trillion mark for the first time since 1989. Consumers are cutting back on expenditures and many sectors saw decline of revenue per customer. At the same time, technological innovation such as the launch of 3D movies contributed to development of new market.
Sports related market declined by 2.4%. While the jogging related goods and sports bicycle and golf practice range were doing good, revenue of golf courses declined along with the revenue of fitness sector.
The market of hobby & creation declined by 4.2%, but the introduction of 3D movies resulted in positive performance in the leisure such as movies. The entertainment market declined by 3.4%. Revenue of pachinko (pin-ball parlor) declined for six years in a row. Game and gambling sectors also suffered. The tourism and recreational market declined by 9.4%. Visitors to amusement parks declined because of new influenza. Travel sector and hotels also declined.
3. Reviving the Needs
Industry experts are now eyeing the customers that had the experience of enjoying the same leisure in the past as they are supposed to be much easier to motivate as compared to people who do not have the experience. The white paper conducted a survey to measure the potential demand of people with "experience."
The result indicated that sectors as "overseas trip," "auto camping," "mountain climbing" in the tourism and recreational market, "swimming," "skiing," "tennis" in sports market and "concerts" in hobby & creation market showed strong potential. In "skiing," for example, 4.4 million people were identified as potential customers, or more than half of the active customers. The survey also revealed that there are substantial number of people that do not have immediate will to participate but have the experience anyway. These people could be addressed in the future.
4. Special Report: Challenge of Decreasing Population. Leisure in the Year 2020
This year's survey also tried to have a look over the next 10 years in which population decreases and gets older. The survey revealed that value set of people will change to look more for "social participation" and practical benefit.
The survey asked what people would seek in leisure now and the future. Four benefits of "to be useful for society and other people," "improvement of health," "enjoy luxury," and "practical benefit" recorded 10% higher rating as the future objective. The former two were common among aged people and the latter two were common among younger people.
The special report explored how the leisure should be in the year 2020 in the different fields of "health," "education," "local community," "environment," and "IT."