Multiple media outlets and lesser travel blogs all jumped on the bandwagon to report the so-called news that the Japanese government is planning to pay for half of tourists’ expenses soon via the “Go to Travel Campaign”.
The generosity, it turns out, is misreporting.
The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has come out to publicly debunk these claims.The post said the Go to Travel Campaign is "under consideration by the Japanese government" and the expressed purpose is to "stimulate domestic travel demand within Japan" and "only cover a portion of domestic travel expenses" after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mainichi also reported that the “Go to Travel Campaign” will feature government subsidies worth up to JPY 20,000 (S$263) per day for leisure travellers.
The subsidies will be distributed through a combination of steep discounts and vouchers to be used at nearby restaurants and shop, and the initiative is expected to begin as early as late July.
The subsidies are only applicable for trips purchased through Japanese travel agencies, as well as rooms booked directly with local hotels and ryokan.
Airline tickets of overseas travellers flying to Japan will not be covered in any part.
But as to how such precise plans can be carried out was not revealed at all.
Some details revealed
A booklet by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism spelling out how the campaign is being planned to be carried out is up online.
Note that all these details are very tentative at the moment, as there appears to be no formal announcement or rolling out of any of these campaigns -- or at least, not yet.
1. Go To Travel campaign, halving the cost of accommodations, including local souvenirs, food and drinks, use of facilities. At most 1 person to be entitled to coupons worth 20,000 yen per day
2. Go To Eat campaign, for restaurant reservations made online, at most coupons worth 1,000 yen per person
3. Go To Event campaign, coupons worth about 20% of the cost of event/ entertainment tickets
4. Go To Shopping Street campaign, to have promotions at shopping streets, promotion of new products
Top photo via Unsplash