Japan Govt Halts Tender for COVID-19 Tourism Relief Campaign

Politics

Tokyo, June 5 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government said Friday that it has decided to temporarily stop accepting applications to undertake back-office work for its “Go To Campaign” for tourism promotion, a key stimulus measure drawn up to deal with the fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic.

The suspension of the tender process comes as the government is being grilled over the program by opposition parties, which say that the planned consignment fee of some 300 billion yen for the work is extremely high.

The government initially planned to launch the program in late July, after closing applications for contractors on Monday. But the latest move is likely to push back the launch, casting a cloud over the government’s aim of achieving a V-shaped economic recovery after the virus crisis settles down.

The program is aimed at helping travel agencies, restaurant operators and other tourism-related companies hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, by stimulating demand through the distribution of coupons and loyalty points to customers.

The government is set to consider an alternative plan in which the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry will select their own contractors for clerical work in their respective fields, aiming to lower the consignment fee for each part of the process.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press