The domestic travel subsidy program of Japan was introduced in July 2020. It was done to revitalize the domestic tourism sector which has got hit hard by the pandemic. The tourism minister, Kazuyoshi Akaba said on Tuesday that the program will cover half of travelers’ costs from October, up from the current 35 percent.
At present, under the “Go To Travel” campaign, travelers in Japan enjoy a 35 percent discount to their expenses revolving around accommodation fees.
However, they can save more from Oct. 1st as they will receive coupons worth 15 percent of the total costs that can be utilized for food, shopping and other activities at the chosen destinations.
Akaba explained that the coupons are expected to “recover lost travel demand as well as widely spur consumption at local destinations.”
The 1.35 trillion yen ($12.7 billion) subsidy program, however, at present kept out travel to and from the capital city, Tokyo, which has witnessed the most horrible coronavirus infections among the 47 prefectures.
Per person, the central government will subsidize up to 20,000 yen for every overnight stay, and 10,000 yen for day trips covering transportation costs.
The hotels and travel agencies will give out these coupons to their customers or made available through smartphones, will be in units of 1,000 yen. Those can be made use at various restaurants, souvenir shops, and tourist attractions and on transportation systems at the travel destinations and adjoining places.
From July 27 through last Thursday, at least 7.81 million travellers made the most of the 35 percent discount to stay at destinations, after the program started on July 22, according to preliminary data of the Japan Tourism Agency.