Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Japanese travel has shown a drastic decrease this year due to the
COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, data from the Japan Association
of Travel Agents showed. Nonetheless, the organization is planning for an
upswing as the year progresses.
According to the JATA International Newsletter, the number of Japanese people who traveled internationally in April decreased by 86% from the same month last year, from about 1,929,000 people to just 272,000. During part of the month the country was in a state of emergency, which began April 16.
While Japan’s state of emergency was lifted for the entire country on May 25, border restrictions remain in place, limiting inbound and outbound tourism. In line with a significant drop in tourism around the world, major Japanese travel agencies reported a 40% decrease in business during the January-to-March quarter.
However, the organization says that the Japanese government and travel industry are planning to introduce a national “Go to” campaign in July to encourage domestic travel. The government is reportedly allocating about $12 billion for the campaign, which will try to stimulate demand through strategies like discounts and coupons.
In addition, a second campaign focused on promoting international travel is scheduled to begin in October, although the exact timeline for international travel will depend on the pandemic and how soon various countries lift travel restrictions.
JATA said that inbound travel from nearby countries including China and South Korea is likely to reemerge first in the fall, while overseas travel by Japanese is expected to begin its recovery in the winter.