Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Japan introduces a new tourist tax

Planning on visiting Japan? You'll now have to pay to leave the country

Tourists to Japan will now need to pay a departure or Sayonara charge. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons. 
Tourists to Japan will now need to pay a departure or Sayonara charge. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons. 

Last week, Japan introduced a new 'Sayonara tax' that applies to travellers departing from the country’s airports and cruise terminals.

The tax is set at 1000 Japanese Yen (Dh34) and is a per person fee that applies to anyone over the age of two leaving the country.

Transit passengers in the country for less than 24 hours are exempt from the charge which has been added to the cost of tickets issued by airlines, travel agents and cruise lines.

The move comes as Japan gears up for an expected rise in holidaymakers before the 2020 Summer Olympics Games set to take place in Tokyo.

Japan is expecting more tourists ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. 
Japan is expecting more tourists ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

A statement by the Japanese Government said that the tax aims to fund “a more comfortable, stress-free tourist environment.” Revenue from the tax will also be used to improve tourist information centres, add improved international language signage across the country and upgrade technology at passenger terminals for faster processing times.

In 2018, Japan welcomed a record high 31.19 million tourists. The numbers represent a rise of 8.7 per cent from the previous year and are the seventh year in a row that visitor numbers have risen.

The relaxation of visa requirements for travellers from Russia, India, the Philippines and other countries have helped to boost numbers as has the introduction of a mutual visa wavier arrangement scheme between Japan and the UAE.

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Updated: January 13, 2019 11:56 AM

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