Japanese Government Offers Travel Subsidies to Boost Tourism in Hokkaido

In September 2018, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit the Hokkaido region in Japan. The aftermath of the powerful tremors resulted in the death of at least 40 people and injured 680 more.

In the weeks that followed, it was estimated that about 942,000 people cancelled their hotel reservations in the area, crippling the tourism industry.

Image credit: OMF Japan

In an effort to revitalise tourism in one of Japan’s most beautiful regions, the Japanese central government announced that starting 1 October 2018, they will be offering hotel subsidies for people visiting the Hokkaido region.

Under this subsidy plan, domestic tourists can enjoy between 50 – 70% discounts for three nights on their accommodation for three nights. On the other hand, for foreign tourists like us in Malaysia, the Japanese central government will absorb 70% (up to 20,000 JPY) of the lodging costs for up to five nights!

Basically, if your daily accommodation cost is 20,000 JPY (RM720), you only need to fork out 6,000 JPY (RM220). The Japanese central government will subsidise the rest of the cost!

How does it work?

Image credit: Reginald Pentinio

There is no need for any special registration or application. Visitors are automatically entitled to the discount. Instead, the Japanese central government will release the subsidies directly to accommodation service providers including travel agents and tour operators.

So, when you book a trip to Hokkaido in the next few days, you might notice reduced prices or rebate for certain tour packages as a whole. What’s more, during this time, some facilities at hotels in Hokkaido are offering discounted prices in an effort to get tourism in the region back on track.

The subsidy period will last until March next year although that may be subject to change at a later date.

Also read: Hokkaido Earthquake: a Malaysian’s Personal Story 

In other news

Apart from Hokkaido, the Japanese Central Government will also be temporarily offering accommodation subsidies for the regions that were affected by floods in July. The regions include:

  • Hiroshima
  • Okayama
  • Ehime

(up to 6,000 JPY – RM220 for those staying more than two days);

  • Kyoto
  • Fukuoka
  • Gifu
  • Hyogo
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Yamaguchi
  • Kagawa
  • Kochi
  • Tokushima

(up to 4,000 JPY – RM150)

Most of us know that Japan is often an expensive destination to travel to. However, if you’ve always wanted to travel to Japan (especially Hokkaido), you may want to take advantage of the subsidies in place at the moment.

Not only is Hokkaido breathtakingly beautiful in autumn, but your spending will also go in no small part towards helping the region rebuild after its string of natural disasters.


By Darren

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