Japan tour packages more expensive due to Covid restrictions
The Japan National Tourism Organisation announced entry rules for tour companies allowed to enter Japan with their groups on June 10 for the first time since the pandemic in 2020. With immigration restrictions and requirements, Covid-19 screenings, and increasing operating costs, it’s predicted the prices will be 30 to 40% higher than packages offered before the outbreak, according to the president of the Thai Travel Agents Association, Charoen Wangananont.
Each group must have a maximum of 10 people and be accompanied by a tour guide for the entire trip, which will cause a big hike in price because companies have to provide meals along with the tour. Tour businesses will have a tough time making a profit with smaller groups, so they must increase the price per person to keep their heads above water.
“We still have to see how Thai customers respond to the rule as there are requirements which mandate them to pay more and engage with additional document processing, including a visa fee of 2,000 baht, which had been exempted before the pandemic.” Tourists also have to apply for a visa by and take an RT-PCR test 72 hours before arrival, costing around 5,000 baht.”
Travel companies who want to sell tour packages must form a relationship with the country’s authorized companies. The policy was put in place by the Japanese government to help reduce the impact on the tourism business before it opens up to individual travellers. Quarantine and the PCR test are scrapped for Thai nationals, along with other countries who are classified as a “blue” country.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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