A sign for the Go To Travel campaign, a Japanese government-backed travel discount program encouraging domestic travel to help boost the economy, is displayed at a souvenir shop in Tokyo's Asakusa district on Tuesday. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato
national

Japan to give some travel agencies more subsidies for Go To Travel program

31 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
Login to comment

Go and travel in a pandemic?

What great advice!

8 ( +18 / -10 )

Bugs the hell out of me that people who actually have money to go and travel, are getting MORE of our tax money to do so.

All while the people who could really use a break have to stay back, possibly put their lives and families lives at risk, to "service" these tourists!

Some of these "breaks" are amazing, a 1 night 2 day stay at a Tokyo Resort Hotel, for two, is normally ¥120,000. BUT with the "Go to" and other "local" discounts the actual price that they would pay is ...drum roll......... ¥15,000 per person! The rest is MY/OUR tax money being used!

I get wanting to jump start things in the tourism industry, and use THAT as advertising for the Olympics, but it's still not right that us working "peons" dont get a share of that free money!

7 ( +18 / -11 )

@Yubaru

Just go to Travel.

Use the amazing discounts, enjoy a trip, then in the end your tax money will be used to finance your own trip

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

If only I had the money to go to travel.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

LDP eminence grise Toshihiro Nikai is chairman of the All Nippon Travel Agents Association. This is yet more corporate welfare for Japan's travel industry, using our tax money.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

LDP eminence grise Toshihiro Nikai is chairman of the All Nippon Travel Agents Association. This is yet more corporate welfare for Japan's travel industry, using our tax money.

No surprises there!! Socialism for the rich - Capitalism for the poor. They always want more for themselves and less for everyone else.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Why anyone is traveling, and why the government is trying to expand travel at this time when there is still no approved vaccine or treatment is beyond me. Be like me. Stay at home. And to the government, I agree with Yubaru. Using my tax yen to finance such a fiasco is downright criminal.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Unfortunately the SMBs that have long been the foundation of the success of the Japanese economy are being ignored in this pandemic. The small machine shops called "machi kouba" that produce high quality parts and machines for the upper tier producers have felt a significant decrease in their orders. Japanese quality is world renowned because of these companies who pride themselves in craftsmanship, but the government is playing sugar daddy to the new young girl, the tourism industry, and is leaving to rot the old stalwart partner that has not only sustained him during hard times, but actually created the brand Made in Japan.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Corporate welfare full steam ahead! This along with the other story about the high courts overturning decisions to guarantee equal pay and rights for irregular employees show how the system, even in this pandemic, is ensuring that workers are well and truly screwed.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

LDP eminence grise Toshihiro Nikai is chairman of the All Nippon Travel Agents Association. This is yet more corporate welfare for Japan's travel industry, using our tax money.

The scared mainstream media are silent as expected.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Print, print, print, spend, spend, spend.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

While the story hasn't hit JT yet. The biggest story about this campaign since Monday has been the massive amount of fraud that has been happening. There have been a lot of fake tickets circulating.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Why do we need tourists can't the government just subsidy all the hotels without tourists being necessary?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Use the amazing discounts, enjoy a trip, then in the end your tax money will be used to finance your own trip

Easier said than done!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Trickle-up economics.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Ironically enough, it is the most at risk groups, the elderly ,being encouraged to go out risk catching the virus-the rest of the people are either too poor to do it or trying to keep their jobs!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well, I am lucky enough to have got my family of four tickets to Okinawa for 3 nights over Xmas.

Flights, resort hotel, meals and a rental car, dirt cheap to start with, super cheap with "GO TO ". Personally I am both thrilled and worried. First at regular prices it would be hard to give my kids that kind of trip. Second worry about the virus is there, as well as a kind of guilt as I know we should not be going. But it is happening, am going, stoked.

As for the go to travel program, I can understand why the Gov. wants it. But it is a bit silly really.

They should at least stop people from traveling far and wide, Like making it for your own prefecture and neighbouring ones. It will either shoot them in the foot for the Olympics, or kinda show Japan is somewhat safe. I have not seen any major increases in the virus from Silver week.

It's likely the Gov will use it to say to the world Japan is low risk, come (please) come to our Olympics.

Inviting a corana party.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Alfie Noakes

LDP eminence grise Toshihiro Nikai is chairman of the All Nippon Travel Agents Association. This is yet more corporate welfare for Japan's travel industry, using our tax money.

Yes, undoubtedly so. But given that travel and tourism was the hardest hit industry (along with air transport), not providing any stimuli for its revival would mean the loss of more or less a million jobs.

Imagine if yours were one of those.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

fxgai said it in another thread, but the danger with GoTo is that it just encourages people who would be going anyway to upgrade to high end travel. Why bother going to (and supporting) el cheapo 6000 yen a night pension somewhere in Niigata when you can go to the normally unaffordable Hotel Poshboy at the Japanese taxpayer's expense? Most of the risk for job losses and businesses closing in the tourism sector will be at the low end. The only people travelling at the moment are people who can afford the (non-discounted) transport there and back. There won't be many people who'll pay 20,000 yen for gas and tolls and then forego the chance for a massive free upgrade just to help that nice struggling family with a minshuku. The only transport that is discounted with GoTo is air tickets bought as a package with accommodation, generally purchased through a big-player travel agent middleman. This makes it obvious who the government is trying to help.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

LDP founding a new slush fund. Let the cashola flow

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Government subsidies are a disaster. The economic distortions aren't worth it.

Doesn't the Japanese government have a clue about something other than blowing away tax-payer money that it doesn't have? Is spending money the answer to every single problem?

I think not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

not providing any stimuli for its revival would mean the loss of more or less a million jobs.

So how long do the subsidies keep going then?

I was sympathetic to this view myself 7 months ago, but ... it's already been 7 months! This thing hasn't gone in a jiffy. Indeed there are record counts of coronavirus cases being reported in Europe now.

If this coronavirus pandemic isn't going away quickly any time soon, and even if it does settle somewhat, I doubt the tourism industry will be enjoying high numbers of tourists again any time soon.

Bad stuff happens sometimes. It might actually be a better idea for the economy to adjust to the new reality, rather than string people along and keeping them unproductive in the process.

I'd be more than happy to see unemployment benefits boosted as opposed to seeing the government prop up businesses that won't stand any longer without support.

If resources are allocated into more productive areas for the time being, that'd be great. If the tourism industry is worth it, resources can be directed back there again whenever it is suitable to do so.

We shouldn't have subsidies carrying on forever. People learnt about the badness of subsidies last century, right now is lesson time for us in the 21st.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Does that thing really say TRRVEL, or is it my aging eyes?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Went to Tokyo Disneyland over the weekend on package deal from JTB. Some notes for those that are interested/confused:

The 35% discount itself is applied automatically when ordering the package, though you have to have a membership account with JTB and then enter a coupon code found here: https://www.jtb.co.jp/kokunai/goto/webcoupon/tour.asp

They send the train tickets and other info by regular mail, so be sure to order in advance. If you don't need train/airplane tickets, just use a hotel reservation site, provided they give the full 35%.

The coupons from JTB were the electronic kind, so we couldn't use at the Ikspiari mall near Disney (they only take the paper ones). They are kind of a pain in the butt because you can only do amounts of 1,000, 2,000, or 5,000 yen at a time. So sometimes I had to repeat the process 3 times for one order. No wonder the mall only accepts paper ones...

Disneyland itself doesn't accept either kind of coupons, but most of the hotel restaurants do (we stayed at Disneyland Hotel so leaving to go eat and then returning was no real difference timewise to eating within the park).

Coupons also work at neighboring prefectures, so despite staying in Chiba we could use them in Tokyo. We had leftover coupons but didn't really plan that far ahead, and ended up using them at Uniqlo in Tokyo Station and buying bentos for the train home. We hate Tokyo Banana and most Tokyo omiyages so that was not an option for us.
-1 ( +1 / -2 )

fxgai said it in another thread, but the danger with GoTo is that it just encourages people who would be going anyway to upgrade to high end travel.

I would disagree. For my Disney trip, maybe yes. GoTo definitely influenced me to choose the more expensive Disneyland Hotel, and I did want to got to Disney anyway before foreign tourists come back and overcrowd the place. However, we also went on another trip that we wouldn't have thought about without GoTo. My wife and mother-in-law have also gone on multiple trips together because of GoTo. And my mother-in-law told me her friends suddenly started going on trips, as well.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes GoTo is a program regressive and punitive against the least fortunate in its' planning, implementation and execution.

Using money from regressively assigned taxes , benefitting large travel agencies and hotels over small businesses, and helping those who already have the free time and disposable income for leisure travel during this crisis.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes GoTo is a program regressive and punitive against the least fortunate in its' planning, implementation and execution.

Using money from regressively assigned taxes , benefitting large travel agencies and hotels over small businesses, and helping those who already have the free time and disposable income for leisure travel during this crisis.

If you are going to complain, at least offer a viable alternative.

People that don't have the money to travel obviously weren't going to travel to begin with, so there isn't much to be done about that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The money could be used for single working mothers and or fathers who are struggling to feed their children due to reduced hours and or forced out of their work because there is no work. Do you know how many families who are not eating these days and or down to meal a day???? I have a friend working in a kuakusho and said so many foreign mothers, fathers and or families who have always had work lost their jobs and no money for food and or Japanese families, too. Priorities are all wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mm. So Ashley, You can afford a new iPhone (see other post) but can’t afford to take your child away for a night or two using a vast subsidy from the Government. Seems you are once again being anti J for the sake if it and suggest you look at your priorities. It was hinted at today that my job may be gone soon. Welcome to Covid life. Worse to come.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some of these tourist destination are on the verge of bankruptcy, how much tax payer money will be needed to bail out entire towns?

Better to support them now while they are still running and keep them going.

Travel with precaution. Those who are afraid of Covid or have savings can easily close their business and re-open at a later date when they feel safe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, money grows on trees. Just print more...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites