No Joke! If you want to thump your way through the pillowed forests of Japan in the middle of a nuking snowstorm, this might be one of your best chances to pull it off! Applications for the airfare giveaway won’t likely be available until some time next April, but the Japan Tourism Agency will be handing out free roundtrip Airfare for 10,000 travelers! All you have to do is blog about it.
Tourism in Japan dropped by more than 50% in the months following the March 11th 2011 tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster. Fear of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear melt down still lingers in the minds of potential travelers and the Japanese tourism industry remains flat.
This week the Japan Tourism Agency announced a massive PR campaign in an effort to improve the country’s image and rebound its tourist economy by providing free round trip airfare to Japan for as many as 10,000 people. “Since the earthquake, the number of visitors has dropped drastically, so to make an impact we think it’s necessary to have this many people (10,000) come to Japan,” said Shuichi Kameyama, a Japan Tourism Agency official, on Tuesday.
Some time next April the agency will be accepting online applications from would be travelers for the free airfares. The goal of the agency is to award the tickets to people who will blog about and promote an interesting and exciting journey to Japan. If you want to fly to Japan for free and tell the story of your epic ski trip this might be the perfect opportunity.
Details about the application process are not yet available but if you’ve got skis and a camera and want to travel, you should have a heads up on this one. There is no info on the JTA site yet, only reports in various newspapers, but keep an eye out for updates on the Japanese Tourism Agency website.
Sammy Carlson, Dane Tudor, and Mike Henitiuk in Niseko, Japan.