Problematic travel packages surface under Go To Travel campaign
Japan Times -- Oct 07
As the government-subsidized Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign picks up steam with the recent inclusion of travel to and from Tokyo, tour companies are rushing to offer travel packages, with some apparently over the top.

Experts say problems have emerged with the program, aimed at supporting the industry hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic, because the campaign was worked out in a rush.

A travel agency in Tokyo has started selling a ¥40,000 hotel stay package, with shopping vouchers that can be used at major duty-free shops accounting for ¥30,000 of the total price.

The package became a hot topic on the internet because the value of the shopping vouchers surpasses the amount a person needs to pay for the plan.

The Japan Tourism Agency has told the travel agency that the plan is problematic as the vouchers are easily convertible to cash even if their use is limited during travel. The plan was deleted from the firm’s website.

Business operators participating in the Go To Travel campaign are prohibited from offering travel plans coupled with cash vouchers and other coupons that can be converted to cash easily.

But travel plans with vouchers such as gift tickets and prepaid cards are seen here and there on booking websites. There are also plans with vouchers that can be used inside accommodation facilities and for purchases of local specialties, as well as entrance tickets for tourist facilities.

News source: Japan Times
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