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Travel & Leisure

Japan's domestic travel campaign gets off to rocky start

Plane and train demand nose-dives for holiday weekend while hotels woo locals

Visitors wearing protective face masks walk along Nakamise Street at Asakusa district of Tokyo, which was excluded from the travel program.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A controversial Japanese campaign to promote domestic travel kicked off Wednesday, but the demand outlook remains dim going into a four-day holiday weekend as Tokyo and now Osaka grapple with rising coronavirus cases.

The "Go To Travel" campaign offers subsidies covering half of eligible travel expenses, up to 20,000 yen ($187) per night. The government decided last week to exclude Tokyo from the program due to a resurgence of the coronavirus there, a move that has reverberated through the travel industry.

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