A nationwide travel discount program began on October 11 2022 as a Japanese government’s initiative to boost domestic travel demand. Several OTAs stopped selling the qualified products on the opening day because of no more availabilities.
The program discounts by 40% a traveler a night. The discounted ceiling is up to 8,000 JPY for a tour with transportation services and up to 5,000 JPY for others. In addition to the travel discount, the government will subsidize a shopping coupon of 3,000 JPY a traveler for weekdays and 1,000 JPY for weekend. The scheme allows a traveler to benefit a discount of up to 11,000 JPY.
The program is also expected to decentralize travelers to weekdays by special discount offering for weekdays.
The reactions from consumers were bigger than initially expected. On the opening day, jalan.net and Yahoo! Travel, Japan’s leading OTAs, had troubles with accessibilities due to too much booking requests.
As the program limits budgets by prefecture, Yahoo! Travel and ikyu.com announced that they stopped accepting bookings in Miyazaki, Miyagi, Iwate and Nagasaki prefectures.
In addition, discount contents and conditions vary with prefectures. OTAs could not start selling the program all together nationwide.
Interestingly, Hoshino Resort has opened its original booking website for the program to start selling on October 25 2022.
Event discount program, another government’s initiative, was launched at the same time, and is joined by poplar theme-parks, such as Universal Studio Japan, Fujikyu Highland, Moomin Valley Park, Legoland Japan or even Tokyo Disney Resort.
Tokyo Disney Resort has started selling 20% discounted one-day passes and distributing spend-boosting coupons in the limited period.