Japan to offer 10,000 free trips to foreigners to boost tourism industry

October 12th, 2011By Category: Uncategorized

TOKYO — Japan will offer 10,000 foreigners free airfares to visit the country next year, in an attempt to boost the tourism industry which has been hit by the ongoing nuclear disaster, a report said Monday.

The Japan Tourism Agency plans to ask would-be travelers to submit online applications for the free flights, detailing which areas of the country they would like to visit, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

The agency will select the successful entrants and ask them to write a report about their trip which will be published on the Internet.

Tourism authorities hope that positive reports from travelers about their experiences in Japan will help ease international worries about visiting the country, the newspaper said.

The program, which will require travelers to cover other costs such as accommodation, is expected to start from next April, subject to government budgetary approval.

The number of foreign tourists to Japan fell more than 50% year-on-year during the three months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The sharp drop began to ease somewhat in the summer.

In June and July, tourist figures were down 36% from a year ago, easing to 32% in August as the country worked to reassure foreign tourism markets.

The government has said Japan is safe except for the immediate vicinity of the crippled plant, where work crews are still trying to bring the facility to a cold shutdown.

Although the plan has not yet been officially launched, click “Like” if you think it is a good idea.

Author of this article


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  • Suvash

    Hope, it’ll promote to reconstruct more betterly on tourism industry. Where is weblink to apply?

  • Anonymous

    Suvash, thank for your comment. The official site for free ticket application isn’t yet announced. We will report whenever the updates come up.

  • Guest

    I would LOVE to go back to Tokyo! I want to apply for this later. Well, I want to just walk on the streets when I get there, get a few CDs and clothing. I guess that counts as tourism…

  • omg that would be so awesome!!!

  • I’ve wanted to go to Tokyo since I was around 7 years old, this would be such an amazing thing. The money I planed on spending for airfare would be used to buy mountains of manga and other nerd life style stuff (:

  • I am just being married next month at age 61, second time first ended ten years ago. I have been a professional potter for 30+ years and am marrying a potter. My daughter is going to work in Osaka in February and I would love to visit her, and Japan would make an excellent honeymoon for us. 

  • Pia905

    As much as it brings hope to Japan’s tourism industry, it should be a major concern as to where exactly will the government generate funding for such a humongous undertaking. Japan is already financially in the red as it is. And there are still lots to be done in the areas devastated by the March 11 disasters which are more in need financially from the government to be able to keep the rebuilding process going. Another major point to consider is what GUARANTEE will the tourism industry have that these “10,000 freebies” will actually help in the purpose that they’ve set? Instead of getting people from the outside to promote tourism, get people from the inside and send them out to do the work for they know better! Come on, people from the tourism industry, i’m sure you can come up with something better than offerring freebies!!

  • David Paul

    Better no apply for this free trip to Japan. Fake people like their culture

  • Johns98

    I find this to be a monumental waste of money and resources of the government – something they do so well here. There are hundreds if not thousands of people still living in temporary housing, still an unfinished mess at Fukushima not to mention the fact (raised above ) that fiscally, Japan is in the red. So they are in hopes that they can stir up the tourism to this country by paying 10,000 people to come here for free and that will solve the nations woes? Half ass thinking for a half assed run country.

  • Italguyinjp

    Nice idea to promote Japan…  To give 10.000 free airfares to visit the country (I wonder if they are only one way), but train costs, taxis, hotels, and daily expenses can be the real high cost, this is the why Japanese people prefer to travel abroad.
    But, I real wonder why Japan pretend to have and raise more tourist when all “civilians” foreigners are excluded of Human Rights on the Japanese Constitution and the law system. It is very sad that Japan grant more rights to short time visitors than foreign residents, continues its bad behavior towards all foreigners except “officials”, but on the other hand expect with lark-mirrors gifts to be popular as an open country.
    At the I do not know if those visitors should have everything booked and managed, to do not run at “Only for Japanese” places, or, if the visitors should be guided mainly at those places to report abroad the Japanese open secrets?

  • Valeriefrias32

    i think it better to used that money for creating new jobs ,, there are lots of people here in japan who are still struggling to find new source of income.

  • Stlouisrca

    like this idea to show people japan is safe, please sent me info to sign up for my free ticket

  • If this is true, it would be great for the economy, giving people employment.
    As for me, I had a fundraiser for Japan called Loven Reggae Japan Fundraiser, and getting a free trip to help some more would be great.
    The last time I was there was in 2006.


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