Japan’s Travel Industry to be Compensated for Cancellations Triggered by ‘Go To’ Hiatus

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

The transport ministry said Tuesday it will compensate travel agencies and accommodations affected by the suspension of the government’s Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign, shouldering 50% of the travel fees lost, or up to ¥20,000 per night per person, for cancellations.

Because the period of the latest suspension — from Dec. 28 to Jan. 11 — would greatly affect businesses that will lose their rush of demand amid the year-end and New Year holidays, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has raised the amount of compensation from the initial 35% to 50%, with an aim to support operators.

In light of the resurgence of the novel coronavirus, the government has provided about 35% of travel fees, or up to ¥14,000 per person per night, to compensate for cancellations since the travel program began being restricted in particular areas in November. The government has concluded that the latest suspensions will create a greater impact than that issued in November.

The government decided Monday to suspend the Go To Travel campaign for all travel across the nation from the year-end through the New Year holidays.

Those who already booked their trip during that period can cancel it by Dec. 24 without charge. The government is urging these travelers not to utilize the program.