A bold new plan will subsidise trips to Japan in a bid to see tourists return after the coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese Government has announced an $18.2 billion campaign that will offset travel costs for visitors.
The head of the Japan Tourism Agency, Hiroshi Tabata, said the plan hopes to attract tourists by subsidising half of their travel expenses, News.com.au reported.
Further details are yet to be revealed but the government has said the program could be in place as early as July.
Travel bans to Japan remain in place and The Australian Government has not announced when restrictions on international travel will be lifted.
The announcement followed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifting the state of emergency across all areas of Japan including in Tokyo.
The lockdown saw citizens asked to work from home, schools closed and non-essential businesses shut down.
The measures relied on voluntary compliance and saw almost no penalties enforced if people did not adhere to Mr Abe’s requests.
Japan’s population of 126 million faced 16,433 infections and 784 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Abe said the lifting of the state of emergency did not mean the pandemic was over but reflected Japan’s success in battling COVID-19.
The Italian island of Sicily announced a similar program last month to encourage visitors to return after the pandemic.
Subsidies will include half the cost of a plane ticket, as well as a night at a hotel and attraction entry fees.
The Italian Government will reportedly cover the cost of one night in a hotel for every three nights stayed.
The scheme will be funded by €50 million ($84.6 million) and be available on Sicily’s tourism website.
Sicily’s tourism losses from March and April reached €1 billion ($1.6 billion).