Travel agencies

Travel agencies seek to take advantage of Japan’s eased border controls

Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) With Japan announcing on Wednesday that it will increase the daily cap on incoming visitors from 20,000 to 50,000 and remove the requirement for tourists to be in “guided” tour groups , Taiwanese travel agencies said they would seek to team up with their Japanese counterparts to promote the visit of Taiwanese tourists.

The easing of border controls will take effect on September 7 and will allow visitors to enter Japan in “unguided” groups, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office. More details will soon be released by authorities, according to Japanese media.

The announcement marked a slight change from rules put in place by Tokyo in June, which only allowed entry to travelers as part of guided tour groups.

While travelers will not need to be accompanied by a guide when in Japan from September 7, they will still have to follow the routes set out by travel agencies, according to media reports.

Commenting on Japan’s new travel rules, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau said local travel agencies could sell customers flight and hotel packages and connect them with Japanese travel agencies who will take care of them for a while. their stay in Japan.

Visiting Japan will be more complicated than in the past, as tourists will need Japanese travel agencies to help them arrange insurance plans and vouch for their travel and health so they can apply for a travel visa, Chung Hsing Travel Service President Lee Chee-yuen (李奇嶽) said, adding that this process would cost 10,000 to 15,000 yen ($72 to $108) for trips of five to seven days.

Under the new regulations, Lee estimated that the number of Taiwanese tourists visiting Japan would increase by 30%.

Also from September 7, travelers who have received three injections of a COVID-19 vaccine will not need to present a negative PCR test report when boarding flights to Japan.

However, flight shortages, rising airfare prices and a month-long wait for travel visa approvals are all issues that could discourage people from visiting Japan, he said. he declares.

According to statistics released by the Japan Immigration Services Agency, the daily number of arrivals in July was around 14,000, which rose to around 20,000 in August.

When asked to comment on the fact that Japan is the only member of the Group of Seven (G7) that still limits the daily number of incoming visitors, Kishida said border controls would be gradually relaxed after taking into account the COVID-19 situation in Japan.