Restrictions have now been lifted and Japan is slowly reducing quarantine time for travellers, so we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for a return to something like normality. Last December, Japan’s Go to Travel domestic tourism subsidy campaign was suspended nationwide due to a resurgence of Covid-19 cases and the programme hasn’t resumed since.
Now that case numbers have dropped significantly and over 70 percent of Japan’s population has been fully vaccinated, The Japan Times reports that the travel campaign is looking to resume in February 2022. Although the return of the programme is not officially confirmed yet, the rebooted version of Go to Travel will apparently include compulsory Covid-19 countermeasures such as requiring travellers to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result when checking in. The Japan Tourism Agency will draft the operational guidelines for travel by the end of November.
Previously, the campaign covered 50 percent of domestic travel costs of up to a maximum of ¥20,000 per person per night, but that cap may be lowered to ¥13,000 once the programme resumes. There are also plans to reduce discounts for accommodation from 35 percent to 30 percent to encourage people to stay at local, more affordable hotels and inns rather than luxury spots.
The revised campaign will also aim to encourage more weekday travelling by offering coupons worth ¥3,000 to use for dining and shopping on weekdays, while weekend and holiday coupons will only be worth ¥1,000.
The government is also discussing a plan to run the campaign until the end of Golden Week in May and then switch to subsidising local prefectural government tourism campaigns to promote travel for residents within their own prefectures.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details are announced.
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