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Japan aims to revive tourism industry by subsidizing people to go on vacation

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I don't need these vouchers, I need for me and the kids to get a vacation.

Give us some holidays, drop the highway tolls and we'll tour the whole darn country.

25 ( +35 / -10 )

My bags are packed!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

New Zealand is promoting the idea of a 4 day working week and staycations to boost home tourism.

Why can the Japanese govenment ever promote well thought out policies.

Its answer to everything is borrow, and mindlessly throw money around in its misguided attempts to "boost the economy".

36 ( +39 / -3 )

I expect these vouchers and discounts to get you thru the doors of the big souvenir shops and tour stop restaurants, meaning that even if the stuff they were half priced I wouldn't buy any of it anyway.

All I really need, to go travelling again, is the sense of safety that we had before and that is going to take some time to come back. I will stick to the local day trips for a while, that is once my so decides it is safe to step out of the house.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Hopes for an influx of foreign visitors this summer were dashed as the Tokyo Olympics were postponed and Japan imposed an entry ban on more than 100 countries and regions.

Japanese travellers must have felt ignored as the industry put priority on foreign visitors.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Great economic strategy! Waste the already meager amount going to a trickle up, stimulating consumer spending approach on the industry most vulnerable and possibly to be even more severely affected by a second wave or similar pandemic shock. As long as dearly held boondoggles like the Olympics are protected there are no reservations about keeping shovelling into that money pit.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

This idea does not work . Many countres have been affected in the world. everything is upside down.

i do not think that this is the right time for anybody to go on a holiday, even if jp government spurs it up.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Please, please, please before you do that, please give us our promised money to help reopen our businesses and pay our bills. I will pay my car, company, property etc. tax money with the promised funds. So, if you want me to pay my taxes, ............... Money is running out.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

In addition, 20,000 barely pays for expressways tolls and gasoline round trip.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

@Strangerland

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/05/760e11ac3146-japan-aims-to-revive-virus-hit-tourism-industry-by-footing-bill.html

Perhaps I am wrong and this is limited to domestic travel. I will not mention the unmentionable in this post

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Perhaps I am wrong and this is limited to domestic travel. I will not mention the unmentionable in this post

I don't see anything in there indicating this is international. Looks domestic to me.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Yes the article states "the cost of travelling to Japan will not be covered in any part". However it appears the subsidies will apply to tourists coming from outside of Japan but it will not pay for them to get here.

It is interesting.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Lets encourage people to move around and spread the virus even more....yup great idea! (SMH)

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I don't need these vouchers, I need for me and the kids to get a vacation.

Give us some holidays, drop the highway tolls and we'll tour the whole darn country.

@ Burning Bush - you've been banging on for months about how desperate you are for things to "open up", to "escape this lockdown" in Japan and get back to work to earn money to avoid "starvation and poverty".

Now you want a vacation to tour all around Japan?!

8 ( +14 / -6 )

@Strangerland

The one issue I would have a problem with is if the subsidies are in fact going to foreign visitors but I cannot {XXXXXXX}......well I think you know what I mean to say here.

It appears the subsidies would apply to those visiting from overseas as well, minus the airfare of course.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Western travel bloggers picked up on this a few days ago (people I know linked to them on Facebook) and put out clickbait articles about "half price travel to Japan". Since they can't actually get in the country, there is actually no need to fear that the Japanese government is giving our money to them or anyone else wanting a subsidized jolly to Japan.

The downside is that this is a gift to Japanese boomer retirees, people with the time and money to travel. Okay, the too-poor-to-retire hotel cleaner might get their 900 yen an hour-job back, but this is an inefficient way of putting money in his/her pocket.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

since1981

In addition, 20,000 barely pays for expressways tolls and gasoline round trip.

20,000 yen per day.

Tokyo-Engr

Yes the article states "the cost of travelling to Japan will not be covered in any part". However it appears the subsidies will apply to tourists coming from outside of Japan but it will not pay for them to get here.

20,000 yen per day off your hotel/restaurant bills is significant. And thankfully appears to be available to all travelers (international/domestic).

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So the plan is to spend $13b to prop up a $44b industry. Is that money well spent? Tourism accounts for less than 8% of GDP. I think there are probably better places to spend this kind of money.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Don't get your hopes up if you're overseas, this will only people for Japanese residents.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Please, no more gaijin.

Please, no more racist ignorant comments!

So the plan is to spend $13b to prop up a $44b industry. Is that money well spent? Tourism accounts for less than 8% of GDP. I think there are probably better places to spend this kind of money.

I'm sure someone is getting a kickback from this. The better solution is to give people 20,000+ and let them spend it on essentials for life, because not everyone is in a position to take vactions, especially if they are unemployed. But I guess this is just another gaffe in a day in the life of a tone deaf, corporate friendly administration

13 ( +15 / -2 )

@letsberealistic - Actually the way the article I posted above reads would indicate that this would also apply to non residents as well as the subsidy does not in all cases go directly to the traveler. From the above referenced article;

The subsidies will cover half the cost of trips, distributed through a combination of steep discounts and vouchers to be used at nearby restaurants and shops. The initiative is expected to begin as early as late July, applying to bookings made through Japanese travel agencies or directly with hotels or "ryokan" traditional Japanese inns, though the cost of traveling to Japan will not be covered in any part.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Hopes for an influx of foreign visitors this summer were dashed as the Tokyo Olympics were postponed and Japan imposed an entry ban on more than 100 countries and regions.

Good, I don't want things to return to the way it was before.

Not having to deal with the hoardes of tourists with oversized luggage has been a plus from all this.

Mass tourism is a blight on the planet.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Great incentive! Hopefully, they will also pressure companies to let employees take vacations.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The best program to encourage domestic travel in Japan that I can remember was when the DPJ were in power and they reduced highway tolls to ¥1000 flat rate and reduced the tax on gasoline. My family travelled all over Japan during that time and visited places we’d have never seen otherwise.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

I wonder how much paper-work there will be to get this. I also wonder if there are many restrictions and only 30% of the travelers will be eligible. The Japanese Government has a way of giving us wonderful amazing sound bites and then pretend like they do not know what you are talking about when its time to pay up. I think everyone understands how politics are dancing.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

No interest to travel domestically in Japan. Most places are wall to wall people, overcrowded and overpriced. Pay me to stay home, please, or pay my Netflix subscription and vouchers for beer.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Sounds good.....but still waiting for the promised 10man yen application form...not even the dumb Abejokemasks in sight.

The best program to encourage domestic travel in Japan that I can remember was when the DPJ were in power and they reduced highway tolls to ¥1000 flat rate and reduced the tax on gasoline

Indeed....that was a great incentive for domestic travel.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

I think the government should wave the tolls drivers have to pay for the express ways. Perhaps even charge everyone a flat fee when they get their shaken to use them. I honestly avoid long road trips becauss of all these tolls. I know I can use navi to avoid them, but that takes way longer. That would increase travel. Or, have a 4 day work week, or mandatory longer holiday leaves.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Want to boost the economy? Ban overtime. Simple.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

New Zealand is promoting the idea of a 4 day working week and staycations to boost home tourism.

that's easy to do when your population is only 5 million and your economy is heavily dependent on agricultural trade. staying home is easy when there's not much for people to do anyways.

and the gov't isn't exactly "wasting" any of this money. the money will all help pay wages and rents for thousands of shops and businesses in the travel industry.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Where do I sign up?

And while they're busy throwing other people's money around, couldn't they spend a few measly yen to get a native English speaker to fix that stupid slogan?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

maybe over time this will apply to foreign travelers too. I have my passport and I'd love to go (in a group with a translator guide)!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Tokyo M

I agree with you about "Ban overtime".

My company has 4x / month an overtime-Ban-Day, but if you work in a japanese company you can imagine, even there is a Ban for overtime on that day, all my co-workers ignore it.

The management of my company should force the people to leave the company on "Overtime Ban days".

@Do the Hustle

What you said, don't match the situation in my company.

My japanese coworkers have an unbelievable stock amount of holidays. But it is not that they are not allowed to take it, they DONT WANT to take it.

About the voucher for travels, yes I think it is a good idea, but I agree with "Michael Machida", it will probably take a lot of paper works to get that vouchers.

I agree with the opinions to reduce the highway tolls. They are too expensive.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If and if you are able to claim your legally entitled holiday, then have enough money to do something a voucher is not going to sway you towards meandering around spending money on trinkets.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I need ANA and other carriers to Japan from foreign countries to lower the prices from sfo to nrt and selected other countries. There is no tracking, etc. Just subsidize the air carriers. Also, nobody seems to mention that duty free is refunded in the stores if the purchase is sufficient and the traveler can show the passport. A person doesn't have to take the receipts to the airport like in Europe. Immediate refund, but at the store where the merchandise was purchased. Of course, the government doesn't want tourists to know about the savings on one hand but on the other hand it wants more tourists. Car rentals, Japan Rail Passes and city bus passes need to be available in Japan at a JR station. Let some experienced tourists express their opinions

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There's another word to add to the Japanese Government's vocabulary; aim. Add this with consider and suggest. I haven't received my money (government returning from my taxes) that he "considered." Now, Abe san wants to give money for vacationing? I'll believe it when it happens. Doubtful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Probably a good way to prevent people from working overtime is to force companies to pay for overtime.

The government encourages companies to implement planned holidays so employees who don't want to won't have to decide for themselves.

Might work better also if companies are forced to pay for accumulated holiday leaves every few years or so.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Free Shinkansen on weekends would be better. Or 75% discount.

Before foreigners who don’t pay tax could get unlimited travel for 5 days for ¥45000. For me to go to just Tokyo only, ¥28000 return.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

List of countries travel banned in Japan.

1) US

2) EU

3) China

4) India

5) Korea

So this offer is open to Canadians, Australians, and Taiwanese only?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Give us some holidays, drop the highway tolls and we'll tour the whole darn country.

I completely agree.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Go To Travel"? Is this really the best the govt can manage, after an national average of 6 years of English study?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I wouldnt mind to get another Golden Week in September or so.

We kind of worked right through that one and didnt have a chance to go anywhere or do anything. which made sense at the time, of course. ut might want to set up some additional holidays for the rest of the year if they want people to travel and spend money.

Other than that, company is going to say "get back to work" and pretend no one has been working the last 2 months. I am expecting most people will have to work more overtime than usual to "make up for" the 2 months of work the company will claimed they missed.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

samit basu:

So this offer is open to Canadians, Australians, and Taiwanese only?

Most probably Canadians and Australians are banned from entering Japan. What I do know is that people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea are banned. This is the most stupid thing to do. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Taiwan and Hong Kong have the best record with COVID-19 infections amongst major regions in the world and all three make up a big chunk of the foreign tourists in Japan. Yeah, well done, Japan. Mind you, if I were Taiwanese or a HKer, I sure as heck wouldn't come here. For well over 2 or 3 weeks, Taiwan and HK have hardly had any local cases.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Go To Travel"?

And Be Best?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Burning BushToday 06:45 am JST

I don't need these vouchers, I need for me and the kids to get a vacation.

Give us some holidays, drop the highway tolls and we'll tour the whole darn country.

Why would the Japanese government pay for you and your "kids" to tour Sverdlosk? Strange comment.

Pukey2Today 12:06 pm JST

"Go To Travel"?

And Be Best?

Nice day, nice smoking.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Lowering the Kosoku to a flat fee would be the responsible thing to do. That way people could travel, but by being in their own vehicle, less likely to spread or come in contact with the virus. It would encourage Japanese to discover their own country, and at the same time help out local shops and hotels!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

half-hearted jumperToday  07:58 am JST

since1981

In addition, 20,000 barely pays for expressways tolls and gasoline round trip.

20,000 yen per day.

Tokyo-Engr

Yes the article states "the cost of travelling to Japan will not be covered in any part". However it appears the subsidies will apply to tourists coming from outside of Japan but it will not pay for them to get here.

20,000 yen per day off your hotel/restaurant bills is significant. And thankfully appears to be available to all travelers (international/domestic).

@half-heart jumper; you forgot "up to" 20,000. Which means 20,000 per day is not a set policy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Under its Go To Travel initiative, the government will provide subsidies worth up to 20,000 yen per day for people going on leisure trips."

Sure, and we'll maybe get that in... what? December? Still waiting for my 100,000 application. And as others have said, this won't even cover highway tolls.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Another stupid unusable idea from the same people who require the filling out of a 90 page application form to get what was promised to be HELP.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

People in Fucashima are still waiting for help, don't hold your breath.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"Go to travel"

"Let’s trip."

"Enjoy fun time!"

"Yes Omotenashi! But please mask!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If they want to get tourism up and running again, get a proper test, trace, track, treat regime up and running everywhere in Japan. Finance the health service to do this, including the private clinics, if you want to stimulate the economy.

Get a few people teams in the Ministries to connect up with counterparts in successful countries like Taiwan, New Zealand, Korea, Portugal. Be humble and learn from others!

Link up with the hospitality industry to work out a quarantine regime using hotels etc, so overseas visitors can contemplate coming to Japan further down the line. (Though how that will work with most people unlikely to come for more than two weeks, I haven’t a clue, tbh).

Perhaps then Japan can mitigate future waves and also inspire confidence from foreign travellers in future. If anyone has the money to come here, that is.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I am no expert on the topic, but maybe not banning ~95% of the world population from entering the country could also help a bit with tourism?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The Olympics has been a double loss - spend all the money getting ready, then spend even more dealing with it not happening. I hope this scheme will only apply to residents (citizens and visa holders) because otherwise we'll just be swamped again

6 ( +6 / -0 )

More perks for the wealthy, it will make no difference to people who have lost their jobs and are still waiting for the ¥100,000.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Nobody will go on vacation without an antidote. READ THE HEAD-lines. DEAD AFTER GOVT SUBSIDIZED TRAVEL INSIDE JAPAN FROM CORONA VIRUS INFECTION. How does this sound ???.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@TARA TAN KITAOKA

Nobody will go on vacation without an antidote. 

Yeah if you think that its fine but plenty of people do/have and will...your welcome to go back into your cave and stay there.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

lets have a cup of clean water.

its money wasting again.

many in Japan now sufering from drop of income,did not receive promised 100.000py yet/not even applications for it/.many in Japan have lost job or will loose job anytime soon.

let me ask in situation like this-who will plan to go and spend in some ryokan some 100.000yen for a night?even with this silly 20.000jpy "support".

let me ask if some domestic travel is top priority for people who are unsure abt tomorrow,as they have to pay bills,taxes/yes tax bills are coming always in time,car,land,house,city tax etc etc-never be late/,worry how to pay mortgage,schooling for kids,dont need to mention some food and make fridge at least partially full?

Is Abe really out of touch with reality?

just wondering honestly...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@ ifd66

The idea of a 4 day working week will not acceptable to employee in Japan rather then employer.

I think you know that.

However, we need law with 3 days weekend, we are good to follow it....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Cricky

What's this 90 page form you are referring to? For businesses or for citizens?

I went to my city hall and got a 1 page form, filled it out, copied the necessary documents, and turned it in. I was told to expect the money to be transferred in 4 weeks. It took about ten or fifteen minutes.

Can people not go to city hall and do this?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Waste of money, it’s not vouchers for select businesses that will get people back. People are still worried, rightly, about the virus and if you want people to visit a place safely you need to stagger visits, not pile everyone into transport, roads and tourism spots at the same time. How about people taking leave from work at different times, making motorways free at certain times of the day, issuing timed tickets for certain popular places/areas etc. People will feel safer about visiting.

The real money comes from foreign tourism, who have more time off and flexibility when it comes to their holidays. When the travel ban is lifted they won’t come back unless they feel safe - most countries are still practicing social distancing and will do for the foreseeable future, and it just isn’t happening here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Am i reading this wrong, or is this a loosely translated article that appears the intended scheme is for domestics and international tourists? The quoted offer is hugely generous and you'd probably be mad if you dont sign up if it is true.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I see a lot of people complaining about not receiving their promised 10 man. Does 10 man extra really make a difference? Serious question. Also I think 2 man per day for traveling within Japan is great, I can't wait to go on a trip.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

All I really need, to go travelling again, is the sense of safety that we had before and that is going to take some time to come back. I will stick to the local day trips for a while, that is once my so decides it is safe to step out of the house.

I agree.

Nobody has an accurate idea of what the situation is actually like here. There isn't enough of a scientific basis which has been caused by the lack of testing (or suppression thereof I should say). If there had been more transparency, I would have a better sense of safety even with higher infection numbers! I'd love to travel...but the at moment.... hmm I'm taking a cautious approach. At least for the time being so soon after reopening, better safe than sorry.

Again, the government seems so out of touch. Everything is solvable with cash, isn't it....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Banned from Japan - travellers (including permanent residents of Japan) arriving from almost anywhere

https://www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus/

Areas subject to entry ban

Strenghtened quarantine

Those who are allowed in (including Japanese returnees) must stay for 14 days "at a location designated by the quarantine station chief" and "refrain from using public transportation".

14 days in a cardboard cubicle at NRT?

Not much of a holiday!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Telling people to stay home during GW was a mistake....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From an article in the Japan Times:

According to a summary of the government’s supplementary budget for fiscal 2020 released by the economy ministry, the proposed plan could see travel vouchers doled out for up to a maximum of ¥20,000 per person, per stay.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

have always felt Japanese hoteliers very greedy charging per head per night so prefer spending our money overseas where we can get excellent hotel rooms including free breakfast pool gym internet and other amenities for fixed prices

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When will we start to suck up to the Chinese again?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with the "drop tolls" idea. Many families would be able to travel Japan and explore other areas without adding additional costs to their vacation plans and leaves extra spending money for small businesses, restaurants, etc. In addition greedy hoteliers with the extra head charge on a hard bed or hard floor is ludicrous. By the way airlines started charging for excess luggage due to high cost fuel that has long gone done for the last 3 months yet no price reduction or removal? hmmm. something strange here with this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think the majority of people are thinking about vacations at this moment. 3 million lost their work.

People have had to spend their savings to survive.

People are trying to cut back on expenses and how to return to work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese hotel system of charging per person per night sucks, we rent camper vans and travel around, meet nice people everywhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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