[Update, June 2020] The Japan Tourism Agency has announced over Twitter that the travel subsidy campaign will only be for domestic tourism and is 'still under consideration by the Japanese government'. The objective of the campaign will be to stimulate domestic travel demand and support local businesses.
A $USD12.5 Billion Plan To Attract Travellers Back
The Covid-19 pandemic put a full stop on all our travel plans in 2020, and the tourism industry across the globe have been suffering huge losses with the closure of international borders and the implementation of travel bans in over 100 countries.
Japan in particular saw a plunge of 99.9% in foreign travellers due to the pandemic, with only 2,900 foreign travellers in the entire month of April, which is supposedly one of their golden travel seasons due to the blooming of the sakura. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics that was initially scheduled for July has also been postponed to 2021, dampening the country's plan to rely on the Olympics to boost revenue and tourism of the country.
In a news conference on Wednesday this week, Hiroshi Tabata of the Japan Tourism Agency announced the Japanese government's plan to allocate $USD12.5 billion (RM5.48 trillion) to a new reimbursement program aimed to boost domestic travel within Japan. The plan is an attempt to attract travellers back to Japan and reignite tourism by providing subsidized holidays.
As of now, the Japanese government has yet to provide clarification on exactly how the travel subsidy will work and who will qualify for the subsidy. There are news that this plan may only benefit Japanese locals when they travel domestically while other news sources report that the plan is created to attract foreign tourists back to the tourism-depleted country.
The Japan Times reported that "The government is seeking to boost domestic tourism by subsidising a portion of travel expenses once the coronavirus outbreak is brought under control" and details of the plan will be released by July should the pandemic subside by then.
As we do not have sufficient details about the plan for now, do stay tuned for further updates once we receive more information! As of now, stay home and stay safe so we can explore beauty across the globe once again.