Japan’s new tourism minister considers restarting ‘Go To Travel’ subsidy program

 Wednesday, October 6, 2021 


Japan’s new tourism minister Tetsuo Saito said that he will explore when to restart the government’s Go To Travel subsidy program for the advancement of domestic tourism, following complete lifting of the COVID-19 emergency last week.

Saitosaid, “We will consider the situation regarding coronavirus infections and consider when to resume the program. It is a program crucial for the recovery of tourist sites and local economies.”

A day after taking over his ministerial post, Saito said that he had been instructed by new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to support the battered tourism sector while maintaining anti-virus measures.

The Go To Travel program, which started in July last year, helped increase domestic travel but was put on hold by the end of the year fearing that it would spread the virus further.

“It is important to balance the prevention of contagion and the promotion of tourism,” Saito said.

While international travel in Japan is still largely limited due to the pandemic, Saito said that the government would sustain its goal of attracting 60 million foreign visitors to Japan by 2030.

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