Business sentiment for inbound tourism among travel agents in Japan hit a record low in the January to March period due to plummeting demand mainly from China and South Korea amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus, an industry body survey showed Thursday.

The diffusion index for travel agents’ views of current conditions for inbound business stood at minus 77, down by 81 points from October to December, according to the survey by the Japan Association of Travel Agents.

The index represents the percentage of companies seeing good business conditions minus that of those feeling the opposite.

Travel agents’ business outlook DI for inbound tourism was minus 68 for April to June and minus 32 for July to September, when the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are slated to be held.

The DI for travel agents’ current conditions for overseas travel by Japanese in January to March dropped by 49 points from the previous quarter to minus 68, while that for domestic travel fell by 35 points to minus 46.

The survey, conducted online on Feb. 3 to 21, covered 637 companies including JATA members, with 311 of them, or 48.8 percent, giving valid answers.

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