Govt Program Fails to Spur Travel Demand as Virus Crisis Continues

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government's Go To Travel campaign, launched a month ago, has failed to spur demand as the resurgence in novel coronavirus cases has made people hesitate to go on trips in contrast to high expectations for the scheme from the travel industry hit hard by the epidemic.

"Travel bookings for July-September are about 20 to 30 pct of the year-before levels," an official of a major travel agency said.

During the "Bon" holiday period in mid-August, passenger traffic on domestic flights plummeted 65 pct year on year, and that on Shinkansen bullet trains and other trains of the six passenger service firms of the Japan Railways Group were down 76 pct.

Travel reservations during the four-day weekend from Sept. 19 to 22 "have so far been sluggish," an official of another major travel agency said.

At the Tsukioka Onsen hot spring resort in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, the average number of customers per day in August has been at around 60 pct of the year-before levels. "The travel promotion campaign has certain effects, but many people are stopping short of making trips due to the risk of infection with the virus," an official of the association of hotels in the spa resort said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press