This One Country Will Pay You to Visit After Coronavirus
To boost tourism, one island nation is enticing travelers with the deal of a lifetime.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, vacations have been postponed and canceled as everyone around the globe has been sheltering in place. However, now that some destinations are starting to reopen, people are tentatively researching places where it's safe to travel and tourism boards are looking for ways to entice visitors. Japan, for instance, is leading the charge by offering to pay for half of your total trip costs after the coronavirus stabilizes.
As reported by The Japan Times, Hiroshi Tabata, chief of the Japan Tourism Agency, held a press conference in which he unveiled this plan, called the "Go To campaign." The Japanese government will invest ¥1.7 trillion ($15.8 billion) in funding, which will go toward vouchers for bookings and souvenirs. If you purchase a trip through a travel agency, you will be given a 50 percent discount, according to Tabata. This program is expected to go into effect in late July, as travel restrictions are likely to be lifted as soon as Aug. 1.
Japan has had one of the swiftest and strongest recoveries from COVID-19. So far, the country has reported only 17,300 cases and 865 deaths (much less than the 100,000 COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S., for instance). With its quick lockdown, major tourist sites were closed and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were postponed. This caused a 99.9 percent drop in tourism in April 2020 as compared to the same time in 2019.
In April, the Italian island of Sicily released a similar measure, offering to pay for half of travelers' flights and a third of their hotel stays. Sicily will also give complimentary tickets to many museums and archaeological sites. As more regions open up and consider their tourism strategies, the future of travel could look a lot brighter (and possibly, more affordable). And for more travel budgeting tips, This Is What It Will Cost to Fly After Coronavirus.