27 October 2016
A trip to Tokyo is advertised outside a travel agency in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ
A trip to Tokyo is advertised outside a travel agency in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ

Japan entices visitors from HK with free flights, hotel rooms

About 1.1 million tourists from Hong Kong visited Japan in the first three quarters of this year, a 70 percent increase from the same period last year, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) said.

The JNTO estimated that year-on-year growth for Hong Kong visitors to Japan could reach 60 percent in the fourth quarter owing to the depreciation of yen, Sing Tao Daily reported Friday.

Hiroshi Yamada, executive director of the JNTO’s Hong Kong office, said the average occupancy rate for hotels in Japan has reached 70 percent, and many hotels in popular destinations, such as Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, are nearly full now.

Yamada said the Japanese government is aware of the shortage of hotel rooms and is encouraging investors to build new hotels to meet the increasing demand.

The JNTO has collaborated with Chris Leung Yin-chung, a well-known travel expert in Hong Kong, to design a 24-day budget travel itinerary across 47 prefectures that costs a traveler only HK$13,888, as it involves using a 21-day Japanese railway pass. 

Although the proposed trip would entail spending three to five hours a day on a train, Leung said it would provide travelers with a good opportunity to communicate with different people in Japan.

There are also affordable accommodation choices at many places in Japan that cost less than HK$200 a night, Leung said.

Meanwhile, the JNTO recently launched a smartphone app and is enticing travelers from Hong Kong to roam different destinations in Japan by offering free air tickets and hotel accommodation. [Download app here: Google Play or Apple App Store]

The person who collects the most electronic stamps using the app by March 24 will win a pair of air tickets to Japan plus accommodation for two.

The first and second runners-up will also pocket a pair of air tickets each.

The app includes travel and destination information for various tourist attractions and suggests itineraries for visitors.

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