A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Cruising the Nile, Egypt
15th October 2011
Up to 10,000 travellers could receive free flights to Japan in an effort to revive the country's suffering tourism industry following this year's crises
The initiative is currently subject to government budget approval but if given the go-ahead the program could launch as soon as April 2012. The Japanese Tourism Agency is predicted to spend about 10% of its 2012 budget on the round-trip flights, amounting to approximately $14.3 million. Participants will be obliged to pay for their own accommodation and expenses.
Applicants will be required to fill out an online questionnaire specifying which areas of the country they would be particularly interested in visiting. The Tourism Agency will then select 10,000 winners who will be required to tweet, blog and write about their trip in a worldwide attempt to promote Japan as a safe and unique holiday destination. However, Japanese sceptics have disputed that the money could be more usefully channelled to aid the victims of the 11 March disaster.
Visitor numbers to the country, between March and June, plummeted to around 320,000 (half the usual figure) in the aftermath of the 11 March disasters and the following nuclear crisis.
The government has insisted Japan is safe, except for the immediate vicinity of the Fukushima power plant. However, yesterday officials in Yokohama city raised concern, claiming they had detected radioactive strontium-90 six-times normal levels on rooftop buildings, 250km from the plant.
"Until the fears of radiation are gone, which looks like it will take a few years, it is difficult to see full recovery in the industry," said Masaki Sakamoto, a tourism analyst and director of Hawaii Tourism Asia.
Last week, Japan was voted favourite long-haul country in The Guardian & Observer Travel Readers Awards 2011, with Japan awarded an outstanding 98.9% satisfaction score by readers. Tokyo was also elected favourite overseas city, for the second year running, demonstrating Japan’s great potential as a tourist destination.
Japan was hit by natural disaster earlier this year. This country was struck by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, which left 23,000 dead or missing, and triggered the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. Japan has since been stigmatised as travellers remain unsure about the safety of the country. Recent studies reflected this revealing the number of visitors are still down by roughly a third from a year ago.
Japan was voted fifth in the Top Country category in last year's Wanderlust Travel Awards. Help them get higher, by voting in this year's awards now.
It's time to return to Japan | News... More
Travel restrictions for Tokyo lifted by FCO | News... More
Japan: advice for travellers and how you can help | News... More
Japan announces record visitor numbers for 2010 | News... More
10 things to do for free in Tokyo | News... More
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!
Japan travel guide, including map of Japan, key facts, travel tips for Japan, culture, things to do in Japan, accommodation, transport and weather in Japan
This is the most classic adventure you can have in Japan. Here's how best to climb this elusive peak and snaffle the most precious views
Nowhere mixes the old and new quite like Japan – use modern trains to discover pilgrim paths, timeless peaks and glimpses into the past...
It's got world class skiing and neon-lit cities, but Japan's northerly island also has untamed back-country haunted by its indigenous Ainu people
Japan has created its 16th annual national holiday, to celebrate its national beauty and help ease its citizens' stress levels
The cuisine and culinary practices of Japan, know as washoku, have been added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage
The decision to make Tokyo the host city of the 2020 Olympic Games is expected to bring a huge boost in tourism to the country
Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking
for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.
Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private
and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking.
10% OFF at Powertraveller
The perfect Christmas gift for travel addicts
Specials savings to the Arctic of up to 25%.
Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web
exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!
I have read and agree to the Terms &
Where in the world are you? Add
#wanderlustmag to your tweets and share your latest travel adventures with
fellow Wanderlusters on wanderlust.co.uk
Get to know Wanderlust on facebook and bring all your travel-minded friends, too