Japan has announced it will pay half your travel expenses in efforts to encourage travellers to visit the country following the pandemic.
Although international travel remaining uncertain for now, savvy countries are offering incentives to bring visitors to their shores.
Japan is following in Sicily’s footsteps, which offered to pay half of tourist’s flight costs, and is offering a similar scheme to entice travellers to the country.
Reports in an article by The Mainichi, one of Japan’s largest newspapers, the Japanese government has given the green light to a 1.35 trillion yen (£10.3 billion approx.) investment for Japan’s tourism.
If approved, the plan will cover half of a visitor’s travel expenses and should hopefully cover the 99.9% decrease in visitors from April 2019 to April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The chief of Japanese Tourism Agency, Hiroshi Tabata, revealed that the scheme could start as early as July as long as coronavirus infections continue to subside.
The plan has yet to be finalised but it should hopefully provide the nation’s tourism industry with a boost that will be vital to mitigating any economic fallout.
The Tokyo Olympics have also been pushed back to 2021 due to the outbreak, and the financially lucrative cherry blossom tree has also been impact by the pandemic.
Japan is currently denying entry to people of roughly 100 nations due to the virus, meaning that any trips within the new scheme will likely be later in the year.
UK tourists will need to pay to enter popular holiday destinations like Spain and Greece
Here’s everything you need to know
UK tourists will have to fork out to visit a number of holiday hot spots next year thanks to the introduction of a new visa system.
The EU’s visa waiver policy will come into force from May 2023, meaning British visitors will need to pay for an electronic permit.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), is designed to enhance security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone, which includes popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy.
The ETIAS will be required for anyone over the age of eighteen and under the age of seventy travelling to a European country, whether it be by airplane, boat or car.
Tourists will need a passport or equivalent document to apply, and it’s estimated that for the majority of people, ETIAS will be approved within minutes.
However, those who are flagged as a potential risk could face a wait of up to ninety-six hours.
The visa applications will ask questions regarding identity, passports, education, jobs, recent travel and any criminal convictions.
This new visa system will also replace the current system of passports being stamped, with the new visa documents to be scanned electronically instead.
An ETIAS will reportedly cost €7 (£5), with successful applicants being permitted to travel within the Schengen Zone for up to ninety days per 180-day period.
The visa will remain valid for three years and for multiple trips to Europe, with people who apply during the transition period being permitted to use the permit for the next three years, unless their passport expires.
There are currently 26 countries in the Schengen Area, all of which will fall under the new system:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
For more information and to see if you’re eligible to apply for the new ETIAS visa, visit the official ETIAS website here.
Chester Zoo unveils plans for overnight safari lodges with giraffe feeding stations
The grounds will boast an authentic Savannah-style habitat where giraffes can roam freely
Chester Zoo has today unveiled plans to open a range of overnight safari lodges overlooking spectacular animal habitats.
The conservationist zoo has resubmitted plans to build the lodges in a grasslands zone next to the A41 Moston Road on the approach to the car park, an area that is currently land owned but not actively used by the zoo.
The original plan for forty-two lodges and tents was submitted and approved in 2019, but never went ahead thanks to issues caused by the 2020 Covid pandemic.
But now, Chester Zoo has submitted a revised plan for sixty-three lodges of varying style and size to be built around the perimeter of a ‘large body of water’, alongside a restaurant, bar and wildlife pond.
According to the planning documents, an authentic Savannah-style habitat will be created within the grounds, meaning many guests will be able to see giraffes grazing right by their windows.
To maintain this habitat, trees appropriate for the African savannah landscape will be sporadically planted, while a denser and greener islands zone will be created to provide greater species diversity for wildlife.
There will also be two giraffe feeding stations extending out to the Bachelor Giraffe paddock, with one being accessible to all guests and the other a private viewing and feeding area for two of the lodges.
An ‘island’ space in the centre of the new lake would act as a focal point for events, social gatherings, functions and storytelling.
The on-site restaurant would seat up to 120 people and have breakfast, lunch and dinner services, with the first-floor views overlooking the lake and the giraffe enclosure.
Guests will be able to stay overnight in a number of four and six-person lodges, all of which will include a variety of king size beds and bunk beds.
Chester Zoo has since been given the green light for its revised proposal, and it is hoped that the lodges will be complete by mid-2023.
Make sure to head over to the Chester Zoo website for news and updates.
UK tourists will have to pay to visit Europe next year under new visa rules
The new system will come into force next year
UK tourists will have to pay to enter Europe next year thanks to the introduction of a new visa system.
Travellers will have to pay a fee for a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), an electronic permit designed to enhance security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone.
It will even be required for those only transiting through Europe.
ETIAS registration is set to become mandatory in 2023, though there will be a six month transition period to allow travellers to become familiar with the new entry requirements.
The application form is said to be relatively straight forward, and it estimated to take around ten minutes to complete online. It must be completed at least ninety-six hours before departure.