Travel agencies in Japan offer special packages for consumers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The struggling tourism industry sees a silver lining in the novel coronavirus vaccination program as it expects the program to inspire more people not only to get vaccinated, but also to go on travel.
The Japan Travel and Tourism Association released an emergency proposal in June urging the acceleration of vaccinations and the adoption of COVID-19 “passports” to confirm vaccinations.
The statement argued that “the promotion of travel by taking advantage of vaccination certificates and other measures will lead to expanded exchanges between people”.
Senior tourist agent Club Tourism International Inc. is considering a new tour specifically for people with vaccines that aims to make participants feel safe on their trip, for which it would accept reservations by the end of August at the earliest.
As the majority of people vaccinated to date are elderly, the ratio of elderly to the total number of travel participants is around 10% higher than normal, leading travel agencies to prepare packages adapted to the trend.
A representative from Club Tourism said the company hopes special tours “will stimulate consumers’ desire to travel.
Nippon Hotel Co., an East Japan Railway Co. group company, is running a campaign targeting people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Tourists who stay and dine at 34 accommodation establishments across four Nippon Hotel brands through the end of September may receive discounted hotel tickets valued at 500 yen ($ 4.50) to 3,000 yen .
To register for the campaign, customers must present their vaccination certificates.
“We hope our effort will encourage more people to get vaccinated, ”said a representative from the Nippon Hotel. “We also anticipate that the campaign will provide new value for tourists to choose our hotels over other accommodation establishments.”
Prince Hotels Inc., a subsidiary of Seibu Holdings Inc., on July 2 released a new package in which vaccinated and unvaccinated people can stay together after passing a free polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
The company sends PCR test kits to the homes of customers who book hotels covered by the program, who get their test results before their stay.
“We would like people, including those who haven’t been able to see each other for an entire year, to take family and other trips together, ”said a representative from Prince Hotels.
For those planning to travel abroad, local governments will begin accepting applications from July 26 for COVID-19 “vaccine passports” that certify holders have been vaccinated against the virus.