Japan Wants To Offer Subsidised Flights To Country Once Pandemic Settles Down
Japan was one of the first countries to be hit by the coronavirus and it has slowly been bringing the pandemic under control.
The 2020 Summer Olympics had to be sadly postponed, however government officials are looking at how to entice tourists once the coronavirus outbreak settles down.
One idea that is being discussed is potentially offering government-subsidised flights to the country.
The Japan Times says Japan Tourism Agency spokesperson Hiroshi Tabata told a news conference that the government is putting aside $19 billion to help bring people to their shores.
The Japanese government won't be paying for your entire holiday but would subsidise some of your travel expenses as an incentive to fly over. It is unclear if this will only apply to domestic flights or will be extended to include international ones.
AWOL reports the program could come into effect as early as July, however that will obviously be dependent on whether it lifts its travel ban. Around 100 countries are prevented from flying into the island country and it's not clear when those restrictions will be eased.
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week extended the travel ban to include India, Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ghana, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, South Africa and Tajikistan.
The number of visitors to Japan have plummeted by 99.9 per cent in April compared to the same time last year, and as a result the people who depend on tourism are reeling.
It's similar to an idea that has been promoted by officials in Sicily, Italy, which will be introduced once lockdown measures ease further.
According to Time Out, the island has lost up to €1 billion in tourism-related revenue due to the coronavirus after Italy ordered a nationwide lockdown.
To help it recover some of those losses, local authorities are offering to pay half the cost of your flight and a third of the price of your accomodation if you decide to travel to the region.
You will also get free admission to the island's museums and galleries under the offer.
It's not clear when the deal will kick in considering many countries around the world have banned people from leaving their homes without a good excuse, let alone leave the country for a sunny holiday.
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