Japan on your bucket list? If you visit later this year, it may cover half the cost of your trip!

When 2020 kickstarted, we were not aware of what it had in store for us. If the year was like any other this decade, we would be just a month exactly two months away from Tokyo Olympics, which were scheduled to go underway on July 23. The coronavirus pandemic has struck the world like no other, bringing the world to a standstill. Over 300,000 people have lost their lives and there are over five million positive cases currently across the globe.   

If the destruction caused by the pandemic was not enough, two Indian states – West Bengal and Odisha – have been struck with one of the worst cyclones in the country’s history. India’s neighbours, Pakistan suffered a plane crash in a residential area in Karachi. A Pakistan International Airlines flight, which was en route from Lahore, crashed minutes before landing in Model Colony near Jinnah International Airport. The death toll has been reported to be 97 with just two survivors.   

It’s safe to say when all this ends, this world will not remain the same place it was before the pandemic. But it is still the same beautiful world out there to explore. While tourism everywhere has been suspended to curb the deadly virus, at some point later, every country will come back to its feet. The tourism will once again thrive and we will again be able to travel and witness the various amazing experiences this planet has on offer.   

Elakala Waterfalls, Virginia © Wikimedia Commons

There are several countries whose economies depend heavily on tourism and due to the ongoing pandemic has taken a major hit. It’ll require some clever and innovative ideas to pull tourists back into your country. Italy, who are set to reopen borders in June, were among the first ones to propose an offer that could be tempting for travellers.

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Last month, the Italian island of Sicily announced that it will pay a part of tourists’ post-coronavirus trip costs to come and visit later in 2020 by funding half the airline ticket along with one out of every three days’ stay in a hotel.  

The Cyclopean Isles at Sicily, Italy © Wikimedia Commons

Recently, Japan came up with a generous scheme for reviving tourism in the country. The country was banking on the Olympics that was sure to bring a lot of foreigners in the country. The tourism in Japan also grows during their hiking season as thousands of people, other than the locals, trek to witness the stunning Mt Fuji. According to reports, foreign tourists make up for more than a third of the hikers. However, due to the pandemic, the walking trails that are mostly crowded have been shut indefinitely.   

The majestic Mt Fuji, Japan © Wikimedia Commons

If budget travelling or backpacking is not your thing, the picturesque country of Japan can burn a hole in your pocket. If the cherry blossom season is your sole purpose of visiting the country, Japan can turn out to be pretty expensive. It is culturally rich and has tons to offer from food, music, architecture lifestyle and nature.  

In a press conference, Hiroshi Tabata, chief of the Japan Tourism Agency, recently revealed that Japan is inviting tourists over with a promise to cover half the travel expenses, as reported by Japan Times.   

The report further stated that the government has set aside ¥1.35 trillion ($12.5 billion/Rs1.05 trillion) for the programme, which is expected to get underway as early as July or whenever the country lifts the restrictions and once again open doors for tourists.   

Japan’s pretty city of Kyoto © Wikimedia Commons

The details of the package are impending as to what kind of costs will be covered or for how long. Japan’s tourists mostly are from Asia but the Olympics could have changed the trend and hence, the aim of this scheme is to ensure Japan’s inbound tourism goes beyond Asia as well in 2020.  

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Japan with a population of around 126 million has fared well during the pandemic crisis as it has had only 16,433 infections and 784 deaths. The experts reportedly have accredited the country’s low numbers to early proactive measures, universal healthcare, low obesity rates and a culture that is already well-known for its brilliant hygiene habits and social-distancing skills.  

Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji Temple © Wikimedia Commons

If the current pandemic madness ends later this year and travel gets a green signal, keep an eye on this amazing package from Japan.  

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