Update: The Japanese Tourism Agency confirmed in a series of tweets that its Go to Travel campaign would only apply to domestic travel – not foreign visitors. Read more about this story here.
Travel is largely on pause around the world right now, but countries are making plans to get travelers back. Japan’s new plan could top the list.
The Japan Times reports that the government’s creative new plan to lure tourists back will cover half of the travel expenses for all tourists visiting the country.
The program, which the government plans to allocate $12.5 billion USD towards, could launch as soon as July. That’s assuming coronavirus infection rates have subsided enough to attract tourists. Japan currently bans many international travelers from entering the country, including from the U.S. and Canada.
This proposal comes after Japan reported just 2,900 foreign travelers had visited the island nation in April – a 99.9% drop from the same period last year. Japan has also announced that the Summer Olympics scheduled for this summer will be postponed until at least 2021.
The Japenese government hopes to jump-start its tourism industry when travel restrictions lift, but it’s unclear just how these travel subsidies would work. Will there be a cap on the amount they will cover? What expenses qualify? How will travelers be reimbursed?
These details need to be ironed out and there will surely be more information on how the execution of this will work before July.
As Japan looks ahead to its borders reopening, the government is looking to provide a $12.5 billion jumpstart to attract foreign visitors. While there are few specifics on how it may actually work, it gives you just another reason to start planning that trip to Japan.