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

News

How Travel Weekly has got your back during the COVID-19 crisis

We’ve come up with a few initiatives to help you recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and come out the other side stronger than ever. Find out what they are here.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Women in Travel Awards winners’ circle: Siobhan Foley, Accenture

Looking for some inspo for your Women in Travel Awards entry? Siobhan Foley’s story will have you hitting ‘submit’ in no time.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aloha Friday Wrap: Hawaii’s message to travellers, Hawaiian Airlines helps out medical workers + MORE!

This week’s Aloha Friday Wrap details how the US island state and its airline are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and also provides some holiday inspo for once things return to normal.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“Aloha from our home to yours”: Hawaii’s message to travellers

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has asked travellers to postpone their trips to the US island state so it can effectively address the health crisis.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Hawaiian Airlines to support medical workers with complimentary flights

Hawaiian Airlines will provide complimentary neighbour island flights for medical professionals during the month of April to support travel associated with COVID-19 response efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Here’s how your clients can experience Oahu’s rich history and culture

by Ashlee Galea

An integral part of making a Hawaii holiday amazing, aside from beach time and tropical cocktails, is taking a deep dive into the culture and history of the Hawaiian Islands.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival president slams NSW government’s “bitterly disappointing” treatment of cruise industry

by Ali Coulton

Sture Myrmell says the state government is not only putting remaining crew members at risk, but also impacting the cruise industry as a whole.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas under investigation following cleaner’s suspension

Following news that ASIC would investigate Qantas, SafeWork NSW has launched a probe into the suspension of an aircraft cleaner who was employed by the national carrier.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“The world will soon return”: Abu Dhabi says city’s silence is a time for reflection

by Christian Fleetwood

Abu Dhabi has released a message of hope, looking forward to the moment the emirate can welcome the world again.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: Empty Welsh streets taken over by tribe of goats

In the deserted streets of Llandudno in northern Wales, where residents are on lockdown, goats have descended from the Great Orme and into the town.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Webjet pulls plug on cruise sales business, actions 440-plus redundancies

by Huntley Mitchell

The online travel company has resumed trading on the ASX, but not before detailing some harsh measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott suffers data breach involving 5.2 million guests

What started as a headache for Marriott’s boss amid the COVID-19 crisis has turned into a migraine following this unfortunate news.

Share

CommentComments