Skift Take

With just 1,500 foreign tourists arriving to take a package tour last month, it's been a painfully slow restart for Japan after the two-year ban.

Japan’s carefully measured reopening to foreign tourists will likely have exasperated travel and tourism executives. That’s because the country welcomed just 1,500 foreign tourists in the month up to July 10, according to new figures.

At the same time, Japan has opened its doors to a total of 1,586 refugees from Ukraine, based on the latest Immigration Services Agency update.

Tourism chiefs spent months pressuring the government to allow foreign tourists in. Since June 10 they’ve been allowed in, as part of a wider plan to cap daily arrivals at 20,000.

The number of foreign tourists arriving to take a package tour is also a fraction of the 484,000 total arrivals in the month to July 10, which saw mostly Japanese nationals enter, along with overseas students and business travelers.

Japan remains one of the strictest countries when it comes to tourism, including Covid testing and compulsory guides for inbound visitors. As the summer season gets into full swing, it stands to lose out to countless other destinations that have now fully relaxed their Covid-related checks.

Japan Airlines is also reassigning 3,000 of its employees to more domestic focused subsidiaries and other non-core operations, according to reports.

Tags: coronavirus, covid-19, japan, russia, ukraine

Photo credit: Japan has capped daily arrivals at 20,000 since June 10 this year. Danis Lou / Unsplash