Japan gov’t to cover up to 70% of tourists’ lodgings in quake-hit Hokkaido
TOKYO – The government will launch a program on Oct. 1 to provide discounts on accommodations in Hokkaido of up to 70 percent for restoration assistance for the region, which was hit by a powerful earthquake, the government announced on Friday.
Accommodations in Hokkaido have seen cancellations due to the disaster, which registered a maximum of 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale on Sept. 6.
Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) will also begin cutting rail fares for the Shinkansen bullet train, and the public and private sectors will collaborate to attract tourists for the autumn season.
The program will be applied to Japanese visitors who stay for up to three nights and provide them with a discount on their accommodations of up to ¥20,000 (about $176) per night. If they take a tour to more than one municipality, a maximum of 70 percent will be discounted.
Based on the numerous foreign tourists who visit the northern prefecture, the same maximum discount per night will be given to foreign tourists for up to five nights.
Tourists who book accommodations on tour websites from Oct. 1. are eligible for the discounts.
Starting from mid-October, tourists who book package tours or other options are expected to be covered by the discount.
The government will allocate ¥8.1 billion (about $71 million) out of its national budget reserves of fiscal 2018 to fund the program.
Meanwhile, JR Hokkaido will considerably cut its rail fare for the Hokkaido Shinkansen bullet train, which arrives at and departs from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station, from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, it said on Friday. The fare from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, which currently costs ¥22,690, will be reduced to as low as ¥10,310 for some tourists. Passengers who wish to receive the discounted fare are required to book their tickets in advance on the internet.
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