The Japan government calls off its subsidized travel & tourism program

Published on : Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Japan government had subsidized travel and tourism to strengthen country’s economy, amidst the pandemic. After experiencing a record rise in virus affected cases in Japan, the country will now suspend the program for two weeks. Last week, the Japanese government has called off this program.


However, as Anthony Kuhn of NPR reports from Seoul, this controversy has reached the boiling point altogether.


The Asakusa district in Tokyo generally remains thronged by international tourists riding rickshaws and strolling in rented kimonos. They’re no where these days. However, there have been few Japanese tourists. Thanks to a government campaign dubbed Go To Travel.


Hiroyuki Koike, who has a traditional towel shop in Asakusa, says by pointing his fingers to few vouchers, “See these?” “You get them according to how much you spend on your hotel. And you can shop with these paper coupons.” The coupons cover about half the cost of the lodging, dining and shopping of the tourists. The promotion is targeted to support Japan’s hard-hit tourism sector. Mr. Koike is quite pleased with the fact that it brought him more customers. “But it increased the number of infections,” he says. “And if we weigh the good points and bad points, I think we have no choice but to stop it.”


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