Have you been waiting for a long time to book a trip to Japan, as one of Asia’s most popular destinations? Well their is some good news and don’t have to wait much longer! Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday while attending a U.N. General Assembly in New York City, will now allow visa-free and independent tourism starting on October 11th!
The government sector of Japan will be launching a nationwide travel discount program that was shelved for sometime, due towards the pandemic restrictions. What the travel discount program will give entry towards the country’s theme parks, sporting events, and concerts that are also set to begin on October 11th.
“I hope many people will utilize it. I want to support the travel, entertainment and other industries that have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic,” Kishida said at a news conference.
People who have been vaccinated three times or submit a negative test result will be eligible for the discounts, according to the report. Previously in month for September 2022, as the country only allowed guided travel packages through authorized travel agencies, with booked flights and hotels.
As of current publishing as their is “a lot of questions to be asked” but, with this big update for Japan’s borders for their guidelines for “what certain specifics haven’t been released yet” by the government. It is likely that that Japan Tourism Agency (part of the government’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism) will release more guidelines and FAQ about visitor expectations in the coming days.
Tourists will need to be vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test result ahead of their trip, Kyodo News reported, citing government sources.
The capacity limit, earlier this month was raised towards the daily cap of 50,000 when the self-guided tours was introduced. Before the pandemic, Japan allowed visa-free short-term travel from people from 68 countries and regions, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and the U.S. according to Nikkei Asia.
With this big announcement and it should help out Japan’s local economy for their travel/tourism sector to benefit their amazing culture, shops, restaurants, tourist attractions and many more. Some the data behind their tourism as record 31.9 million visitors went to Japan in 2019, that average 2 million per monthly.
In 2021,that figure plummeted to about 250,000 due to the closed borders. That drop of over 99.2% is the sharpest decrease on record according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. Despite the aforementioned numbers, Japan is maintaining its goal of attracting 60 million foreign visitors by 2030 noted by Travel Caffeine.
The nation’s tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic is now on the right track to help support different aspects of many industries. Travel agencies over time and have been urging the government to waive the visa requirement for tourists, which has been a major obstacle for those wanting to visit Japan.
In some cases, prospective tourists had to submit their visa applications in person to the nearest embassy or consulate, while others did not get their visas in time for their upcoming travel plans.
If you got upcoming travel plans to Japan, now is a good time to look into it with the borders being relaxed or any 2023 plans if you have those booked up to.
Source: The Japan Times