Japan takes a complete turnaround from its initial offering of 10,000 free flights for foreigners visiting the country in 2012 as recent announcement says the country is no longer giving such freebie.
Back in October this year, the proposal to offer free flights was seen as a remedy to the subdued state of tourism in the country after the March 11 massive tsunami churned a nuclear crisis which later stirred fears from tourists coming into Japan.
As Japan faces an insurmountable debts and the enormous task of recovery, the budget for ‘Fly to Japan!’ project which was earlier reported to be about ¥1.1 billion ($14.3 million) did not get a nod from lawmakers.
In a statement posted on its website, Japan Tourism Agency said “The project titled ‘Fly to Japan!’ (to offer flight tickets to 10,000 foreigners with high potential to communicate Japan’s attractions), which had been covered in a number of media in autumn this year, was not approved as a governmental draft budget of FY 2012.”
This recent pronouncement is anticipated to disappoint, if not leaving disgruntled, many potential tourists who have since been inquiring for further details about the free flights.
However, the London-based Japan National Tourism Organization is optimistic that potential tourists would understand the decision especially that many of the “cities, towns and villages devastated by the tsunami are still in desperate need of funding for reconstruction.” It added that the decision is called for to avoid notions that international aid to Japan might be spent in giving free flights.