Japan to Restart Travel Discount Program on Tuesday

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, in November 2020

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japan Tourism Agency will restart its domestic travel discount program on a reduced scale on Tuesday after a suspension during the year-end and New Year holidays, in an effort to support the tourism industry battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The maximum amount of discount to be awarded to a tourist per night will be lowered to ¥7,000 from ¥11,000 so far, including shopping coupons that can be used at places including restaurants.

Users of the program will be required to show proof of a booster COVID-19 dose or negative test result.

Each prefecture will decide when to terminate the program in light of financial resources provided by the central government. The resources will be available at least until the end of March, according to the agency.

The discount rate for travel will be reduced to 20 pct from 40 pct while the ceiling on the discount amount will be lowered to ¥5,000 from ¥8,000 a night per tourist for tour packages that include public transportation services and to ¥3,000 from ¥5,000 for hotel stays only and single-day trips.

Shopping coupons to be provided as part of the program will be issued in electronic form in principle. The amount issued in coupons will be cut to ¥2,000 from ¥3,000 for weekdays and maintained at ¥1,000 for weekends and holidays.

“Reviving tourism demand is very important to revitalize the economy,” tourism minister Tetsuo Saito told a press conference on Friday. “We want people to travel in Japan while taking basic COVID-19 precautions,” he said.