Japan starts charging departure tax

 

Japan is happy to welcome visitors, but now it will begin charging them to leave, as a 1,000 Yen ($9) "international tourist tax" goes into effect for travelers ready to say 'sayonara' to Japan. In fact, it's already been nicknamed the Sayonara tax.

The tax, which exempts official visitors, deportees, and transit passengers, is not universally popular. The government, which expects the tax to be a big earner, especially next year when Tokyo hosts the Olympics, says that the tax will “expand and enhance Japan’s tourist infrastructure in an effort to make Japan the top tourist destination.”

The travel and tourism industries, which have lobbied against it since it was first proposed in 2017, say it will have the opposite effect, reducing tourism growth. While the government expects 40 milllion visitors next year, the industry has estimated that the tax could keep away as many as 7 million.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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