Hopes High in Tourist Sector as Japan Eases Border Controls

Society Culture Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 11 (Jiji Press)--Hopes are running high in Japan's tourist sector as the country drastically eased COVID-19 border control measures Tuesday.

"Our expectations are very high after two years of hardships," said Satoshi Yoshida, head of a tourist association in Kutchan, which is part of Hokkaido's Niseko resort area, a popular destination of foreign tourists.

Japan removed its daily cap on travelers allowed to enter the country and eased other border measures. In addition, it started a state-subsidized nationwide travel discount program.

Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, the Niseko area in northern Japan attracted more than four million tourists in 2019, with foreigners accounting for about 80 pct of tourists staying at least one night. The annual number fell to around half of the 2019 level in 2020 and 2021.

The number of hotel reservations for this winter is seen returning to a level before the coronavirus outbreak. Many reservations are coming in from abroad.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press