Destinations

Say Konnichiwa to Japan’s new departure tax

Laine Fullerton

From January 7 2018, all travellers leaving Japan will be required to pay a 1000-yen ‘sayonara tax’.

While the figure appears hefty in yen, it only equates to AU$12.

Then again, that would probably cover our sushi lunches for the next few days.

Sushi GIF via Giphy

The tax that passed through the Diet last Wednesday in Tokyo, applies to any Japanese and non-Japanese travellers leaving the country by air or sea.

And no, the tax didn’t have to restrict its eating habits, the Diet refers to Japan’s bicameral legislature who are responsible for passing laws.

Under the law endorsed by the House of Councillors, toddlers under two and transit passengers who depart the country within 24 hours of arrival will be exempt.

The new tax is designed to assist infrastructure and improve services for tourists, in the lead up the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Part of the revenue will be allocated to the installation of gates equipped with facial recognition.

Other plans include free wireless internet services on public transport and implementing e-payment systems.

According to The Japan Times, the country has witnessed a surge of inbound tourist numbers and based on data compiled by the Justice Ministry, there were around 45.2 million departures from Japan in 2017 attracting a record 28.69 million tourists, up 19.3 per cent from 2016.

The Japanese government hopes to use the tax to boost tourism, with it expected to raise around AU$500 million in 2020 as it hopes to attract 40 million visitors annually once the Olympics take place.

After criticism from the travel industry when the tax was first proposed last year, a bill specifying how the government will use funds from the tax passed through the Diet last Tuesday, a day before the final approval of the tax.

Criticism arose around speculation that the government could divert the money for other purposes or that higher prices would inevitably put people off visiting Japan.

The new legislation limits the use of departure tax revenue to tourism-related projects, countering criticism and ensuring the country is set to handle the influx of tourists due for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The new permanent tax will be adopted for the first time since 1992.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Abercrombie & Kent unveils remote Flinders Island adventure

The luxury travel connoisseur is bringing remote and unusual parts of Australia into the spotlight with the launch of this new active adventure off the Tasmanian coast.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“There’s a fair bit of work to still go there”: ScoMo plays down hype around ‘vaccine passports’

by Ali Coulton

When the PM talks about international travel, the whole of Australia listens. However, in this instance, you’re going to have to switch your eyes on rather than your ears.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre posts $234m loss, but grows its share in “large and important” Aussie leisure market

by Huntley Mitchell

If you ignore that big negative number in the headline, it’s all very positive news here from FCTG.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas suffers $1bn half-yearly loss, pushes back international flight plans

by Huntley Mitchell

The flying kangaroo won’t be hopping overseas as soon as originally hoped, after posting a “stark, but not surprising” loss.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Brisvegas tapped as preferred host for 2032 Olympic Games

Crack a tinnie of XXXX Gold, because it looks like the Olympics might be coming to Queensland 32 years after Sydney’s hosting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line extends US pause, as Canadian port closures spark Seabourn, Princess and HAL cancellations

Canada’s obnoxiously handsome PM, Justin Trudeau, has chucked a spanner in the works for cruise fanatics over on that side of the globe.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Intrepid co-founder backs the Pinterest of travel apps

The social media platform claims to be the first to let users share travel-specific content to create real-world itineraries.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why your clients will be drawn to Japan’s heartland once international travel restarts

by Sponsored by Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation

With your clients no doubt itching to get back overseas, here’s a destination that’s a realistic chance of reopening to Aussies before many others.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“I thought we were going down”: What we know about the United Airlines engine explosion

The flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Denver when one of its engines blew apart, raining debris on suburban neighbourhoods below.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean cops further punishment for detaining Aussie cruiser over threesome

The man had already been paid almost $100,000 by the cruise line after being detained by crew members on Explorer of the Seas for six days over false rape allegations.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld bears $15.1m loss, but retail networks still “largely intact”

by Huntley Mitchell

Helloworld swung to a loss in the first six months of FY21, but it wasn’t all bad news for the ASX-listed group.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Traditional owners threaten closure of key Kakadu tourism sites over “mismanagement” by Parks Australia

Traditional owners of Kakadu National Park have warned they will close parts of the tourism hotspot after claims it has fallen into “disrepair”.

Share

CommentComments