Govt. To Support Reviving Hokkaido Tourism

Govt. to support reviving Hokkaido tourism

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told a delegation from the tourism industry in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido that the government will do all it can to support them in the wake of a powerful earthquake.

Abe met 9 members from a group of women managers of hotels and inns on Friday.

Group leader Noriko Suga told Abe that the number of foreign tourists is showing no signs of recovering.

Abe said promoting tourism in Hokkaido is crucial, and he hopes foreign tourists will feel at ease.

He indicated that the government will provide subsidies for package tours to the region so they can be sold at a discount.

Suga told reporters that the local tourism industry needs government support. She said the prime minister promised full-fledged support.

Since the September 6th earthquake, hotel reservations for about 940,000 people have been cancelled. The economic loss is worth about 100 million dollars.

A subsidy program for package tours was introduced after Kumamoto Prefecture was hit by powerful earthquakes 2 years ago. The tours were sold at a discount of up to 70 percent.

The government will draft a budget for the program and plans to submit it to an extraordinary Diet session to be convened later this year.