"Near, Pricey" Plans Popular Thanks to Go To Travel Program

Society Culture Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 21 (Jiji Press)--Luxury "ryokan" Japanese-style inns near cities and package tours dedicated to single travelers are benefiting from the government's Go To Travel program, which began a month ago.

But many accommodation facilities are still struggling in Tokyo, excluded from the program to shore up the coronavirus-battered tourism industry with government-subsidized incentives.

People are favoring trips to nearby areas, as well as stays at pricey ryokans with "onsen" hot springs costing over 20,000 yen per person per night to make the most of the program, said Takasaki City University of Economics professor Takao Ikado.

But the program has not succeeded very much in motivating the public to make trips, Ikado also said.

The program started on July 22, providing discounts equivalent to 35 pct of the travel costs, with the maximum amount of assistance set at 20,000 yen per person per night. The program does not cover trips to and from Tokyo.

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