It was actually my sister who first told me about this. It seems the Japanese Government may be looking at giving away 10,000 round-trip flights to Japan next year.
Here’s the details!
Why the Flights?
As everyone knows, Japan has had a rough go this last year. With the earthquake and nuclear power plant problems, tourism is way down (over 60%). The Japanese Government would like to turn this around as quickly as possible.
In a effort to get tourism kick-started, The Japan Tourism Agency has purposed a campaign offering 10,000 free round-trip tickets to Japan. Although the idea has not yet been approved, I think it’s a great way to to stir up some interest in Japan.
So what’s the catch? Nothing that extreme, really. Those who were chosen would just have to report on and submit reviews about their travel experiences. Pretty worth it if you ask me.
To snag the tickets, would-be travelers will need to submit online applications detailing what parts of the country they’d like to visit. Successful applicants will fill out a questionnaire after the trip and write reviews about their experiences to be published online. These (hopefully positive) reports will be used to showcase what the country has to offer, ease concerns among international visitors, and lure travelers back to Japan. – Shermans Travel
Travelanthropist tells us the agency has requested about ¥1.1 billion ($14.3 million) – that’s roughly 10% of the tourism agency’s overall 2012 budget – to pay for the tourism campaign from lawmakers. If approved, you can sign up as early as next April.
“We are hoping to get highly influential blogger-types, and others who can spread the word that Japan is a safe place to visit,” – Kazuyoshi Sato, Japan Tourism Agency
The simple truth is, travel to Japan is completely safe and I would do it in a heartbeat. If it takes 10,000 more people to prove that, then sign me up!
I’ll be sure to let you know if the program goes forward.
Update: Looks like the program isn’t going ahead. Read the announcement here.
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