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Japan Welcomes Tourism after Disasters

Map of JapanJapan is ready to welcome travellers from around the world, just 4 months after the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant crisis caused havoc in parts of the country. Since the disasters, tourists have pretty well steered clear of visiting the nation, despite basically all the major tourist spots emerging from the destruction unscathed. On April 28, Tokyo Disneyland reopened, while many other tourist attractions are operating as normal again.

The Japanese government hopes that tourism will be able to boost the nation’s sluggish economy. It has assured tourists that the recent environmental radioactive levels in Tokyo are lower than what can be found in Hong Kong and New York. Many United Nations agencies are backing these findings, with the World Health Organization (WHO) announcing that radioactive materials don’t present health or transportation safety risks, as they are of low concentrations. In April, the International Civil Aviation Organization said that continuous monitoring around airports shows that radiation levels are well within safe levels.

Officials also say that worries about roads and train services being damaged are unfounded as well. Tourists are able to get around most of the country with ease, as none of the trains that were operating during the earthquake were derailed, while no serious damage was done to stations, elevated bridges or tunnels. The nation’s sophisticated public transport system recovered and is operating regular services everywhere, with the exception of the regions affected by the tsunami.

There has also been assurances from domestic authorities about food supplies being safe to eat, as these have been rigorously tested. The government has taken steps to ease worry about contaminated beef by banning shipments from the Fukushima prefecture, which is where the nuclear power plant meltdown occurred. Japan’s National Tourism Organization president, Tadatoshi Mamiya, said that food is inspected and controlled under strict guidelines. Mamiya added that local people outside the areas that were affected are living their lives as usual, and the beauty of the nation’s tourist spots have remained unchanged. WHO has also noted that drinking tap water in the country isn’t a risk to health.

All of this comes as Hotels.com reveals recent research that over 60% of respondents from around the globe are open to travelling to Japan, which was actually in the top 3 favourite destinations. The major incentive right now are flight and hotel prices, as nearly 70% say they will visit now if the price is right. Hotels in Kyoto and Tokyo are offering amazing discounts right now in order to increase occupancy.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s senior director of the Tourism Division and Bureau of Industrial and Labour Affairs, Mr Hideki Yokoyama, says that he’s very encouraged that so many are indicating they are willing to visit Japan. He hopes everyone can and will experience the best of the capital’s fantastic hospitality, which is unchanging. He would also like everyone to see that all of the nation is working together for a speedy recovery.

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