Japan Tourism Agency has proposed an unprecedented campaign – 10,000 free roundtrip tickets, and if funding is approved, Japan Tourism Agency will put together a website for people to apply. To have a chance at one of the tickets you’ll have to apply online, answer a questionnaire regarding your motivations, and provide a detailed travel itinerary and will be obligated to publicize your trip online. You’ll also be required to cover your own accommodations and meals. The hope for the Japan Tourism Agency is that influential bloggers and writers will be able to convince people that Japan is safe for travel.
Since the 3/11 disaster tourism has sharply declined. In July and August down 70% from the same time last year. The constant flow of contradictory reports on radiation levels and what constitutes a “safe” level of radiation has been a huge source of anxiety for would-be travelers. Also, there have been numerous stories of high-profile individuals reluctant to travel to Japan, voicing radiation concerns.
Of course the plan is still in the embryonic stage and as wonderful a plan this might seem to all of us Japanophiles, it seems like it will be very expensive to organize and operate. Japanese lawmakers still have to agree to fund the proposal which is estimated to cost more than 14 million US dollars. If lawmakers do approve funding, sign-up could start as early as April 2012.