With the drop in COVID-19 cases, many countries have started opening their borders to international tourists. Japan became the latest country to join the list after opening its border to international tourists last month. Before the pandemic struck in early 2020, the country was among the hottest tourist destinations, thanks to its exciting blend of eastern tradition and western modern culture, breathtaking views, hospitality and most of all, the food. So, when the borders finally opened last week, an influx of tourists was expected.
Japan has struggled to attract the same enthusiasm from tourists that it did before the pandemic. According to a Bloomberg report, tourist visits to the country are down by over 96 percent in June when compared to the figures for the corresponding month in 2019. In May, 1,47,000 tourists arrived, compared to 1,20,400 foreign arrivals overall.
The Japanese government has also increased the daily limit on foreign arrivals to 20,000 after easing travel restrictions for foreign residents and business travellers. However, despite all the efforts, the tourist visits to the country haven’t picked up.
Japan’s strict protocols for COVID-19 prevention has been among the key reason for low enthusiasm from tourist. As the COVID-19 pandemic still lingers around us, Japan has added strict rules for the visits that include mandatory face masks, constant temperature checks, and following the tour order.
If a tourist is caught without a mask, they can be asked to leave the country. Apart from just wearing a mask, the travellers are asked to avoid closed locations, crowded places, and close contact settings.
The majority of tourists coming to Japan are from South Korea, China, and Vietnam. In the future, if the restrictions can be eased, then there might be a change in the numbers.
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