The number of Japanese traveling overseas during the Golden Week holidays from late April to early May is expected to decrease 5.6 percent from last year to 500,000, according to JTB Corp.

The number pf people traveling within Japan during Golden Week, with departure dates ranging from April 25 to May 5, is expected to fall 1.5 percent to 22.02 million.

Japan’s largest travel agency attributed the decline in both overseas and domestic trips to the faltering economy and the difficulty many workers are facing in taking a long holiday because this year the three days starting April 30 are weekdays.

But the number of people expected to travel during the holiday period should be the second-highest, after last year’s peak. JTB began conducting the survey in 1969.

For this year’s survey, JTB polled 2,200 people across Japan in March.

The peak day for departure is expected to be May 3 for both overseas and domestic travelers, the agency said.

The number of visitors to North America, including Hawaii, is expected to decline 20.1 percent from last year, and the number bound for China is seen rising 24 percent, JTB said.

JTB expects the number of tourists to Okinawa to rise following a sharp fall posted late last year in the wake of the suicide attacks in the United States in September.

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