Nagoya castle and city skyline in Japan at sunset

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.

a woman walking under a wooden arch

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…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Oh boy. This sounds lucrative but I have a hunch it will be exploited/abused somehow. Japan at half off sounds pretty enticing.

  2. I have 2K in airline credit for a japan trip my son and I were supposed to take next week for his graduation present and had to cancel. I’d love to have half my expenses paid!

  3. The last time I visited Japan I was very sick and missed a lot. We have almost $7,000 in airplane credits that we need to use from when we had to fly home unexpectedly from New Zealand last March before they closed their borders due to Covid-19. Itching to travel again.

  4. Author deliberately misquoted The Japan Times. This is for domestic tourism, not international. “The government is seeking to boost domestic tourism by subsidizing a portion of travel expenses once the coronavirus outbreak is brought under control.”
    Just clickbait.

    1. It’s not, as explained, the Japan Times changed their text days later, which is what you read now. It originally stated exactly what is quoted.

  5. Can’t wait to hear how to apply or set this up.. My wife and I would love to travel there this year for our 50th birthdays.

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