SEOUL, July 28 (Korea Bizwire) — The once popular travel packages to Japan following the country’s lifting of entry restrictions are being canceled with the summer vacation season just around the corner.
Between July 20 and August 14, approximately 40 percent of all reservations for travel to Hokkaido have been canceled, according to travel agency Mode Tour.
The Hokkaido travel package saw a 250-percent hike in reservations in the second week of June.
The cancelations are mostly attributed to Japan’s ongoing travel restrictions except for group tours and a lengthy visa process that takes two to three weeks for travel documents to be issued.
In addition, travelers are only allowed to visit pre-planned destinations in the country and a designated guide should always accompany them while shopping.
Unlike European or Southeast Asian countries, travelers to Japan must be tested for COVID-19 prior to and after visiting Japan.
Japan has been South Korea’s most popular travel destination for the summer due to its proximity and relatively cheaper cost of traveling.
Coupled with the heavy depreciation of the Japanese yen this year, the won/yen exchange rate has fallen to 950 won for every 100 yen, another point of attraction for travelers.
“Travel to Japan is expected to recover only with the return of the visa waiver program and free, individual travel,” Mode Tour said.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)