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Travel & Leisure

Airlines chart cautious path for Japan inbound travel recovery

Singapore Airlines adds flights while ANA, JAL see scant group tour demand

Japan started accepting foreign tourists from June 10, but they must be part of guided package tours and follow the country's COVID directives.   © AP

TOKYO -- Airlines are planning to operate less than half the number of international flights to Japan, compared with pre-pandemic levels, for the rest of the year despite the government opening the country to tourists on June 10.

The cautious outlook is a sign that Japan will face challenges attracting travelers under the current arrangements. Japan began allowing group tours from 98 countries and regions designated "blue," but the rules require tour guides to accompany visitors and make sure they follow mask-wearing and hand sanitizing protocols. All tourists are required to obtain a visa to enter the country.

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