Japanese Govt Considers Paying for Half of Tourists’ Expenses
The Japanese government is looking for way to restart its economy and especially tourism which is a big part of it. The country has seen an incredible drop in the number of tourists. In April for example, only 2,900 tourists visited Japan. That is a decline of 99% compared to 2,926,685 people who visited the country last year in the same month.
The first time that figure was below the 10,000 mark was in 1964, when the Japan Tourism Agency first began compiling these statistics.
What’s interesting is that April was the seventh consecutive month that saw a decline. Since October, Japan has seen the number of visitors go down monthly. It first saw a significant drop in visitors from South Korea, and then a devastating typhoon halted the trend of increasing numbers of visitors from overseas.
Now in an effort to try to restart tourism, officials in Japan are considering a plan that would see the government pay half of foreign tourists’ travel expenses, Japan Times reports. For now it is just a proposal. If it gets approved, it would cost 1.3 trillion Yen ($12 billion) and it could start as early as July 2020. No details have been made public on how it would work exactly and what it would cover or what the exclusions are. A similar plan is also being considered in Sicily once Italy open up again for foreigners to visit.
Japan expanded its travel restrictions in early April, barring entry to foreign nationals from about 70 countries. It includes United States, most of Europe, China and South Korea. Subsidizing travel for tourists is dependent on easing these restrictions first.