Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) has requested a budget of 78.5 billion JPY for FY2019 starting April 1 2019, 2.5 times more than the FY2018 budget. On general account excluding a special budget for rehabilitation in Tohoku region, the budgetary request amounts to 74 billion JPY, 2.68 times more than the FY2018 budget.
For the new international tourism tax, for which the government will collect 1,000 yen a departure from January 7 2019, JTA has estimated to collect 48 billion JPY a year, based on FY2017 data of departures of 30 million foreign travelers and 18 million Japanese travelers.
Using the tax sources, the government will particularly focus on 1) development of environment for stress-free travel, including innovative immigration procedure with advanced technologies, 2) smoother delivery of information on Japan’s tourism resources through digital marketing promotions and 3) improvement of tourist satisfaction in local experiences through development of culture and nature resources.
For steady enforcement of tourism programs toward an advanced tourism country, JTA has requested a budget of 25.2 billion JPY. In the budgetary request, a main program is to enforce Strategic inbound tourism promotions and to upgrade the tourism industry as a core industry of Japan at 14.1 billion JPY. For the inbound tourism promotions, JTA will especially strengthen its strategic promotions by region in Europe, U.S.A. and Australia and at the same time add ten new target markets for proactive promotions and also for expansion of the luxury travel markets.
As a new program, JTA has requested 50 million JPY for development of AI-based travel services, in which big data analysis will be performed more preciously than before to develop innovative tools for travelers’ needs.
Another new program is Training of theme-navigators at 70 million JPY, in which JTA will train multi-language guides primarily specializing in local stays to raise travelers’ satisfactions.
In addition, JTA has requested 2,572 million JPY for Decentralization of international tourists to local regions, including supports for promotions of cross-region tourism and theme-oriented tourism to send international tourists to local regions and 7,782 million JPY for Improvement of environment to receive international visitors, including introduction of IC transportation cards usable nationwide, multi-language bus location system, modernization of public toilets and so forth.
For Development of tourism statistics, a budget of 779 million yen has been requested to grasp international visitors’ consumption trends and to develop visitor statistics by prefecture.