Govt plans to offer nationwide travel support

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A sign promoting a tourism discount program is seen at a hotel in Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture.

The government has begun considering the launch of a new nationwide travel support program to stimulate tourism demand as early as this autumn.

The nationwide travel support measure had been scheduled to begin in July, but was postponed due to the rapid spread of the seventh wave of the novel coronavirus.

The government intends to support the pandemic-stressed local tourism industry through the measures in advance of the autumn tourist season.

The program is comparable to a nationwide version of the current regional travel subsidy program, which only covers travel by residents within their own prefecture or a bloc of neighboring prefectures with financial support from the government.

The support measures will focus on subsidizing the cost of lodging, with additional subsidies for those who travel by airline, Shinkansen and the like, or who travel on weekdays when there are fewer tourists.

When coupons for food and beverages are included, the maximum daily subsidy is ¥11,000 per person, which is ¥4,000 more than the amount provided through the regional subsidy program.

The government is considering the launch of the program as the number of new cases of coronavirus infection continues to decline and new vaccination rollouts are expected to begin.