Author: Michaela Hall
Published: October 12, 2011 at 9:44 am
Japan’s tourism industry has seen better days. Following a tsunami and earthquake in March 2011, which wreaked havoc on Japan’s shorelines and resulted in the damage of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, travel warnings were imposed to warn travelers of the danger of nuclear exposure. The stronger Yen has also acted as a deterrent to potential tourists.
In comparison to last year’s levels, tourism has decreased by 1/3 leaving officials looking for innovative ways to boost tourism. Definitely an eye catcher, the proposal to give away 10,000 free flights to foreigners has created a buzz among the travel community. The $150 million funding request is subject to government approval, but could be implemented as early as April 2012.
If approved, those who want a chance at the opportunity would apply online and decide on the parts of the country that they are interesting in visiting. Once selected, applicants would receive a free round trip ticket. The traveler is responsible for any additional travel costs. In return for the flight, the traveler would be required to write a report and spread the review among their social networks. Sounds like a fair deal.
The ultimate goal of the exchange is to encourage tourism through word of mouth promotion. Through the power of positive feedback, Japan is hoping that their investment results in a boost of their tourism industry. If anything, this promotion encourages travelers to take a second look at Japan as a viable vacation destination.