Visitors to Japan reaches all-time low
Government data shows that just 1,700 visitors travelled to Japan in May 2020 – down 99.9% versus May 2019 and even down from the previous month. The news comes as a government campaign to revive Japan’s domestic tourism industry is put on hold due to cost controversies.
April is typically one of the most popular months to visit Japan as it is peak cherry blossom season, but April 2020 saw only 2,900 international travellers enter Japan.
Japan’s borders remain closed to visitors from 111 countries. However, the government is considering easing restrictions for destinations where the virus is under control, such as Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Thailand. Japan’s travel and tourism industry accounts for 7% of its GDP, and its hard-hit travel businesses are watching the government’s next moves closely in order to prevent permanent closures.
The latest figures coincide with the news that a government campaign to encourage domestic travel in Japan has been postponed. The campaign, known as ‘Go To’, is to encourage Japanese nationals to travel within their country by means of a discounted voucher system and was due to launch last month. But following criticism of disproportionally high office and admin expenses, the government said it would be suspending the scheme until the budget was revised. A new launch date has yet to be confirmed.
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