Japan Is Setting $12 Billion Aside To Pay For Half Your Next Trip…

Japan released a staggering figure this week, stating international arrivals fell a casual 99.99 percent, year over year this April, down to numbers in the low thousands for the first time since 1964. For a country that just a few months ago was planning to host an Olympic Games, it was a massive blow, albeit an important one for health.

According to the Japan Times, the Japanese Government is looking to lure international travelers back to the country as soon as July 2020, as border restrictions around the world begin to ease. With only 10 visitors from Spain and Italy in April, any boost is certain to make an impact. Here’s the direct quote from the Japan Times…

The government is planning to lure back foreign visitors by covering half of their travel expenses.

The ¥1.35 trillion ($12.5 billion) program could start in July if novel coronavirus infections subside soon, Hiroshi Tabata, chief of the agency, told a news conference Wednesday.

Japan largely avoided any significant second or third waves, and fared better than many countries in battling the global pandemic, thanks to early proactive measures and a culture well versed in hygiene and social distancing.

Details are still scarce on how the government plans to cover half of travelers expenses, how long they’ll do so, and whether expense limits will be set – hello, Aman Tokyo – but the news is a promising sign for those hoping to make Asia a part of their year, despite early doubts.

So far we know that limits will be set to 20,000 Japanese Yen per day, which is about $180. The discounts and or vouchers will apply to bookings made through local tourism agencies and or hotels.

Countries are looking to create new, sustainable and most of all safe ways to travel, balancing health concerns with vital needs to protect commerce and jobs. Travel and the many businesses including restaurants and cafes that rely on travel employ more than 300 million people globally, all of whom could be out of work if a new normal doesn’t resume. In many parts of the world, travel accounts for more than 10% of any given country’s GDP.

Via advanced health screening, testing certificates and tracing apps, many countries now believe they’ve cracked reasonable solutions to ensure the health of locals and visitors, and that any measures are a small price to pay for the pleasure of discovering the world’s wonders.

Japan is and will always be one of the world’s most sought after destinations, but as one of the more expensive trips on any travelers horizon, any kind of trip support will go a long way. It might be time to dust off those Japan guidebooks, or better yet – 48 hour guides – because you may be allowed to visit sooner than you thought.

Update: the Japan Times has since updated the original article creating questions about when, how and who this will mainly be for. We’ve reached out for comment from Japan Tourism. Let’s hope it’s you…

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