How to Travel When You're 100: An Analysis of the "Travel Divide" (1)

How to Travel When You're 100: An Analysis of the "Travel Divide" (1)

I am a huge fan of traveling. I have traveled over 200 times, both domestically and internationally. It's safe to say that traveling is my favorite activity. I believe many others like me love to travel.

My life goal is to continue traveling even when I'm 100 years old. However, it's clear that the frequency of travel decreases for the elderly. Not just the elderly but also people with disabilities and families with infants and young children travel less frequently compared to the average. Is this a natural occurrence?

I refer to the significant reduction in travel frequency among certain age groups and other demographics as the 'Travel Divide.' This term defines the disparity between those who can and cannot travel. It is a term inspired by the 'Digital Divide,' which refers to the disparity between those who have and do not have access to information and communication technologies like the internet.


travel divide

Sources: JTB Travel Annual Report 2020, Tourism Academy, Wheelchair Travel


In the year 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the decline in the average number of trips was evident: 34% for domestic trips by people over 70, 72% for international trips, 63% decrease in travel by people with disabilities (data from the U.S.), and a 27% reduction in international travel by families with infants and young children.

On the other hand, the 'Digital Divide' seems to be improving year by year, thanks to the ease of use of smartphones and other devices. The smartphone penetration rate in Japan increased from 49.5% in 2012 to 90.1% in 2022. Therefore, it could be argued that the 'Travel Divide' now represents a more significant and pressing issue than the 'Digital Divide.'



Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications 'Survey on Telecommunications Usage Trends


In the following article, I will analyze the factors causing the 'Travel Divide.'






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