Insights from Japan travel market - top websites and user engagementNews / TechnologyBy Karthick Prabu | October 16, 2013Share This article was originally published on Believe it or not, a non-travel industry company's website is the most visited Japan travel website. And, it is none other than Yahoo Travel.ComScore, the web traffic measurement service, reveals this and more in a study titled "Japan Digital Future In Focus 2013".Time spent on travel websites on the riseAsia Pacific has the largest share of worldwide internet audience at 41%, followed by Europe at 27%. Interestingly, Japan has the world's fourth largest internet user base.Just north of a third (35%) of Japan's web users visit travel websites, while this number is slightly lower than in 2012, the user engagement with travel websites in 2013 is higher. Japan's internet users spend 23.7 minutes on travel sites.Reach of travel categoriesTravel information related websites have the highest reach in Japan. This is inline with the global market. Ground/cruise websites have the next highest reach.Here, “reach” is defined as the % of total user base in Japan. For example, 12% reach in the OTA category means that out of the total population of 74 million internet users in Japan, some 12% visit OTA websites every month.Top travel websitesYahoo Travel tops the list with five million unique visitors per month, closely followed by Jalan and Rakuten Travel. Among the top ten travel websites by traffic, there are two airline websites - All Nippon Airlines and Japan Airlines.Interestingly, its not the travel information websites that create the highest engagement (though they have the highest reach), rather both airline websites emerge top in user engagement.Mobile users overtake desktop users in travelThere are 102 million mobile users in Japan, this is larger than the mobile user base in UK and Germany. Globally, Japan has the largest percentage of mobile users above 45 years old.In 2012, mobile was playing catchup with desktop among internet users who access travel websites. But, in early 2013, mobile user traffic visiting travel websites is higher than the desktop users.In September 2013, Japan’s Venture Republic that runs Travel.jp and Hotel.jp announced that the combined mobile traffic to these two sites increased more than threefold on the previous year. Traffic from mobile now accounts for more than 40% of total visits to these two websites.Kei Shibata, the founder of these websites, predicts mobile traffic to the sites will overtake desktop traffic very soon.NB: Deep dive into online travel market in India and South East Asia - Here.NB 2: Car image via Shutterstock.