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Japan to Continue Travel Discount Program Beyond April

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tourists walk near Kiyomizudera temple in Kyoto in Nov. 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japan Tourism Agency presented a plan Thursday to continue the government’s domestic travel discount program in April and beyond.

The agency took the action at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Land, Infrastructure and Transport Division.

Meanwhile, the agency plans to exclude the country’s Golden Week holiday period between late April and early May from the program.

Existing funds for the program allocated from the national to prefectural governments will be carried over.

The program will end in prefectures where the budgets have run out. It is expected to last until around summer in some regions.

The program, which started in October last year, is designed to support tourism and other industries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It ended on Dec. 27 but resumed on Jan. 10 after the government revised the system, including by lowering the discount rate.

The current discount rate is 20 pct for a maximum subsidy of ¥5,000 per person per night for travel products that combine lodging and public transportation and ¥3,000 for lodging only.

The program also distributes coupons that can be used at restaurants and elsewhere worth ¥2,000 on weekdays and ¥1,000 on weekends and national holidays.