Japan Giving 10,000 Flights to Social Media Bloggers to Boost Tourism

The Japan Tourism Agency is seriously looking at the potential of social media to help the country’s tourism industry regain visitors after the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear issues. The agency is proposing the country offer 10,000 free round trip tickets to social media users to help promote the country as a safe and exciting holiday destination.

Selected travelers would enjoy free flights, though they would need to cover all other costs including accommodation and food. All travelers would be obligated to document their trip using Facebook, Twitter, a blog or other social networks. With 10,000 visitors documenting their trips to Japan via social media, a creative buzz online will happen.

“We are hoping to get highly influential blogger-types, and others who can spread the word that Japan is a safe place to visit,” Kazuyoshi Sato, from the agency, is quoted as saying.

Visitors numbers to the country were down 50 percent during the first three months after the tragedies, while the strength of the Japanese Yen has been another issue preventing visitors from touring the country, according to Yahoo.

If the proposal goes ahead, aspiring travelers would confirm their interest by visiting a website and detailing their planned trip and why they believe they should be allowed to visit Japan. The Tourism Agency’s proposal is on the grand scale reaching potential 10,000 visitors flying into the country documenting their visit via social media. The agency behind the campaign is seeking 10 million yen to fund the project that could start by April 2012.