It’s been an unusual time for travel, to say the least. Yet as COVID-19 restrictions, travel guidelines, and even destinations themselves change right before our eyes, Japan will host the postponed 2020 Olympics.
Currently, Japan’s borders remain closed to foreign nationals. International spectators will not be allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics this summer and overseas ticketholders will be refunded—some 600,000 tickets were sold to those outside Japan. Travellers will be responsible for cancelling all other travel arrangements, and any costs incurred in doing so. According to Tokyo 2020’s website, all refund processes and policies will be organized by the authorized ticket sellers fans purchased tickets from, not the IOC and POC.
The International Olympic Committee is requiring international athletes and media to submit activity plans before they depart for Japan. According to the Tokyo-based newspaper Nikkei. GPS tracking will not be used to detect movement of Olympians in real time, but only for retroactive tracing purposes. The roughly 6,000 journalists planning to cover the Games must submit a list of areas, venues and hotels they plan to visit in their first 14 days in Japan.
Why we’re excited to return – The latest news from Tokyo
Nori Akashi, a New York–based representative for the Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau, shared the latest news out of Tokyo. Akashi highlighted the lesser-known parts of the city that she thinks will tempt travellers post-pandemic, like nature-filled day trips. The idea of wanting to ease back into cities after COVID—that many travellers will need time to become comfortable in crowds again—was a common theme. In Tokyo, as Akashi and others pointed out, it’s possible to find a healthy balance of both.
Tachikawa City, located in the west of the city is home to a vibrant flower garden and the Sorano, a new hotel with a rooftop infinity pool and garden views from every room that opened June 8 2020. To celebrate the first anniversary of their hotel’s opening date the first 150 parties staying will receive flowers that would have been destroyed as a result of the pandemic. Though the pandemic has interrupted or delayed a handful of anticipated openings, the city will be making up for lost time in 2021. The second Tokyo Edition will open in the popular Ginza neighborhood this summer, and the recently reopened international cruise terminal, which hasn’t been able to welcome cruise ships since its grand debut last September, is preparing for arrivals in the year ahead. The Haneda Airport, a 30-minute train ride from downtown Tokyo, is also adding two new hotels, including the 160-room luxury hotel Villa Fontine.
What post-pandemic travel will look like – Tempting travellers who are “really eager” to return to Japan, focus on spring of 2022, as the Nagano’s sakura hit their peak.
That said, the types of trips that will be popular post-pandemic will look different than before—many travellers will be avoiding the crowds, for the most part. By contrast, the Natural Wonders of Japan voyage explores Japan’s east coast and features Shingu, home to UNESCO World Heritage sites, including one of the three Kumano Sanzan Shrines connected by Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, Tokyo, the world’s most populous and arguably most exciting city and the most pristine wildlife habitats in Japan. From Kushiro, home to the country’s largest marsh and the red-crowned crane, to Nemura, with its 300 species of wild birds and Rishiri Island’s virgin forests, alpine flowers and wild, spotted seals.
In the latest Guide on Business Events in Japan, Japan National Tourism Organization there are various case studies of partner suppliers which show how the new safety measures are being implemented at every level of a meeting by event organizers, airlines, public transports, convention centers and hotels. For more information you can watch these videos.