Japan’s Tourism Remedy: 10,000 Free Flights
10,000 Free Round-Trip Tickets to Japan
To Japan on the very cheap
After getting the news, I went further to gather more information from Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). This news instant basically paralyzed their website. And from their website, I found the following:
Regarding articles that "JAPAN OFFERS 10,000 FREE FLIGHTS TO FOREIGNERS"
Thank you very much for your interest in visiting Japan and for your keen response towards the "JAPAN OFFERS 10,000 FREE FLIGHTS TO FOREIGNERS" news.To me, this is a classic example of stupidity.
Recently a number of media outlets have publicised articles about this, however it is subject to government budgetary approval,and no details have been decided yet.
We appreciate your kind understandng. (http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/topics/2011/free_flights.html)
Here is what JNTO did, not only wrong, but extremely stupid:
1. Politics - Subject to Government Budgetary Approval
How can the Japanese Government justify spending almost ¥1.1 billion to foreigners while Japan is in trouble because of the earthquake earlier in this year?
Beside for those who understand politics, you will understand it will be a battle for getting the money for something like this.
The most important is the budget will not be approved until March 2012.
2. Promotion or Media Stunt
Does JNTO intend to promote travel to Japan or basically show off their "fantastic" media skill?
As a media stunt, the news did the job well - at least, it success to paralyze its own website.
How about promotion? Can anyone tell me the detail of this promotion?
Nothing. Remember? Japanese Government has not yet given the approval yet, at least not until March 2012.
3. The real problem with declining travel
For sure, Japanese tourism was impacted by the earthquake without doubt. But for real, when the majority of Japanese is not impacted, the reason associated with declining travel is not earthquake related.
As President Bill Clinton said - "It's the economy, stupid."
First - Fuel Surcharge. Then - worldwide economic crisis.
Will throwing 10000 tickets solve the issue? Of course no.
UPDATE - This "idea" is dead...See here - Update - "10000 Free Tickets to Japan" is dead...