There is a growing demand for travel to Japan as the Japanese government eased travel restrictions in two years. With the relaxation of self-isolation regulations for unvaccinated children, there are also more travel inquiries to Southeast Asia, a popular destination for family travel.

The Osaka-Kobe travel package designed by Verygoodtour (1,365 seats) sold out in two hours, travel sources said on Sunday. The two-night, three-day tour will depart from July to December and includes air travel, business hotel stays and guide tips, priced at around 490,000 to 520,000 won. For non-discount travel packages (about 540,000 to 790,000 won), 1,924 customers signed up, 6.7 times the number of travelers to Japan in the past five months. “We get 200-300 calls a day on weekends on packages that include a free daytime schedule, with over 3,000 sign-ups for five days,” said a Verygoodtour employee.

YB Tour said the number of bookings for Japanese packages departing in July and August increased sevenfold from the previous month. The number of Japan tour bookings made between May 16 and May 21 increased by 139% compared to the previous week.

Japan lifted entry restrictions in two years and two months and decided to allow international group travelers to book through local travel agencies. International travelers from 98 countries, including Korea, will no longer be required to undergo COVID 19 testing and self-isolation, even if they do not have a COVID vaccination record. Air travel between Gimpo Airport and Haneda is also expected to increase. Travel demand to Japan is expected to increase further once no entry visas are allowed, which had been on hold since COVID.

International travel for Korean travelers has become less burdensome with relaxed self-isolation requirements for unvaccinated children, which have been adjusted from six years old to 12 years old. The number of overseas package bookings at Modoo Tour from May 13 to 26 increased by 230% compared to two weeks earlier (April 29 to May 12). Booking demand was highest for destinations Thailand (360%), Vietnam (350%), Singapore (320%), Saipan (250%) and Guam (110%).

Dong-Jin Shin [email protected]