Plan to boost overseas tourist numbers involves highlighting cultural, historical assets

posted on March 21, 2016

With Japan determined to increase the number of foreign tourists to the country by 2020 when it hosts the Olympic Games, the government plans to maximize the use of cultural assets at 200 spots nationwide to spark visitors' interest in Japanese history and culture, a draft of the government's new plan showed Sunday.

Under the draft, the government aims to introduce cultural properties and historical assets to tourists in as many languages as possible, repair shrines and other historical buildings, and promote local performing arts. Where exactly the government will extend its support, however, has yet to be decided, government sources said.

In hopes of luring more visitors to local areas, the government plans to make it even easier for tourists to travel to less popular regions by train and other means of public transportation.

One of the ideas is to designate around 100 shinkansen bullet train stations as key points for the dissemination of tourist information, but details are still being discussed.

The government will also improve wireless communication in bullet train tunnels and connectivity of highway buses and rail services.

Another plan is to upgrade existing travel services such as the system of issuing the Japan Rail Pass.

The cost-effective rail ticket, which offers unlimited use of almost all Japan Railway trains, can only be purchased abroad, but from fiscal 2016 starting in April, these passes will be sold domestically on a trial basis.

source by japantimes
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