Japan is introducing a departure tax that will make visits a little more expensive for tourists. The new tax comes just in time for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. How much more will you have to pay? A fee that works out to be $9.23 will be charged every time a person leaves Japan via plane or ship. The fee will be added automatically to departure fares. The fee became effective last week.
More than 30 million people visited Japan in 2018. However, the fact that the Olympics will take place in Japan during the summer of 2020 means that a record number of tourists may soon pour in. It is expected that at least 40 million tourists will arrive in Japan in 2020.
There are some exemptions when it comes to Japan's new departure tax. No fee will be charged for children under the age of two. In addition, anyone visiting Japan for 24 hours or less doesn't have to worry about being charged. The fee will also be waived if you find yourself in Japan due to circumstances that are beyond your control. That means that you won't be charged if your flight is rerouted to Japan due to bad weather or some other aviation-related issue.
Japan is expecting the new departure fee to bring in some serious revenue. It is expected that $461 million will be collected by the end of 2019 as a result of the fee. What does Japan plan to do with the funds? Japan is planning to reinvest the money it collects back into travel services. Some of Japan's goals include adding more facial-recognition gates at airports, introducing faster processing through immigration and adding free Wi-Fi to all public transportation. There's a good chance that most tourists probably won't be too upset about paying an extra $9 if that means Wi-Fi is readily available throughout Japan.