Japan to extend nationwide travel discount program

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Coupons for the government’s nationwide travel discount program are seen at a travel agency in Chiba in October.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government is planning to extend its nationwide travel discount program, originally set to end in late December, tourism minister Tetsuo Saito said Friday.

 Saito said that the program will be suspended from Dec. 28 and resumed after the New Year holiday period. The day of resumption will be announced later.

 Meanwhile, discounts under the program will be reduced, with the discount rate to fall to 20% from the current 40% and the maximum discount amount to drop to ¥5,000 from ¥8,000 a night per tourist for tour packages including public transportation services, as well as to ¥3,000 from ¥5,000 for only hotel stays or single-day trips.

 Shopping coupons provided under the program will be partially decreased. The amount for such coupons for weekdays will be cut to ¥2,000 from ¥3,000, while the amount for public holidays will be maintained at ¥1,000.

 Certificates of having received at least three COVID-19 vaccine doses or having tested negative for the coronavirus will continue to be required for using the travel discount program.

 The program was launched in October, with the aim of supporting the tourism industry battered by the pandemic.

 “We reviewed the program from the viewpoint of providing support for as long a period as possible,” Saito said at the press conference.