Holidays and travel plans still remain on hold for many people all over the world, but countries are beginning to unveil plans for lifting restrictions initially put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. One such example is Japan, with the country revealing that it may be in a position to part-fund trips as a way to entice travellers back in the future.
According to The Japan Times, chief of the Japan Tourism Agency Hiroshi Tabata unveiled the plan at a press conference recently in response to the fact that the number of international travellers (2900) that visited Japan in April this year dropped 99.9% from 2019. It is the first time since 1964 that the figure has slipped below 10,000. With that in mind, the government is now looking at ways to boost tourism by subsidising a portion of travel expenses when the coronavirus outbreak is under control. According to the press conference, the programme aims to potentially provide ¥1.35 trillion ($12.5 billion) in funding, although the exact details surrounding the scheme are yet to be announced.
Japan’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak has been deemed to be effective when compared to other destinations, with the country reporting 16,550 cases so far and 820 deaths. The postponement of the Olympics has had a major impact on the country’s revenue, and combined with dwindling tourist numbers, Japan will be eager to create incentives to boost the sector once it is deemed safe to do so.
Japan is not the only country to discuss such measures, with Italy recently putting forward a scheme to fund tourists to once again visit also. The country has just lifted a state of emergency, easing restrictions in Tokyo and the northern island of Hokkaido.