Japan may pay for half your vacation with $12.5 billion plan

Like many countries, Japan has suffered an astronomical drop in tourism, with a 99.9% decline in tourists for April 2020.  An estimated 2,900 tourists visited Japan last month, which represents the lowest number on record and the first time below 10,000 since the Japan Tourism Agency began compiling statistics in 1964.  In an effort to lure back tourists, the government is starting a $12.5 billion plan as early as July that could cover up to half the costs of travel expenses for foreign visitors.

Furano's beautiful flower fields in Hokkaido

Japan's current entry ban aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 was expanded to 100 countries this month.  In April, which is typically one of the busiest tourism months with the elegant cherry blossoms, fewer than 10 visitors arrived from Spain and Italy, which have both been hit hard by the pandemic.  The number of visitors from Taiwan and the United States also decreased to 300 each from 403,467 and 170,247, respectively, in April last year.  As the travel restrictions begin to ease, the government hopes to accelerate the return of tourism with the multi-billion dollar plan.

Okinawa's immpecable sandy shorehore in Ishigaki

It remains to seen how the "tourism stimulus plan" will be implemented.  For example, will flights and lodging by subsidized?  And will admission fees to tourist attractions and public transportation costs be covered?  But one thing is for sure: for a country that has endured a stagnant economy for decades, tourism is one area that has actually continued to grow.  And with the Tokyo 2020 games being postponed and the general public being scared of taking to the skies, the country is hoping that the plan can help tourism return to its former form.

Sapporo's legendary soup curry dish

Bottom line

Having personally lived and studied in Japan for 3 years, I can attest that the country is one of the best places to visit.  With delicious food, clean streets, formidable service, beautiful destinations, and hands down the best public transit system on the planet, I am definitely vying to return when this pandemic is over.  The details behind Japan's $12.5 billion "tourism stimulus plan" have yet to be revealed, but let's hope that some of us will be able to take advantage of it and hit the skies again.

From all of us at Flying for Fitness, please stay healthy during this trying time.  We hope you enjoyed this post.  Please consider visiting one of our sponsors by clicking on the advertisements.  Our sponsors pay us for customer visits and help us to keep the lights on.  Thanks!


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