THE domestic industry is rallying to restore confidence to southern Japan, with travel agencies and airlines dropping prices to encourage visitors to Kyushu after the region was rocked by a series of violent earthquakes in April.
"Many Japanese companies, including ourselves, want to do everything that we can to support local businesses, local authorities and the people of Kyushu," Wataru Yoshioka, a spokesman for All Nippon Airways (ANA), told TTG Asia.
Kumamoto Castle in Kyushu, Japan
The airline has cut the price of a one-way flight from Tokyo to Kyushu throughout September to 9,700 yen (US$96.30), down from an average of 12,000 yen.
ANA Holdings president Shinya Katanozaka said he hoped the airline's efforts would "attract 100,000 tourists in the July-September period".
Meanwhile, a number of domestic travel agencies have been pushing Kyushu as a destination, with both Kinki Nippon Tourist Co and Nippon Travel Agency reporting strong interest in discounted travel and accommodation packages to the region during the summer.
Last week, the Quantum of the Seas' call at Kumamoto for the first time following the April earthquakes also delivered a welcome boost to the local tourism industry. The 4,000-pax ship had sailed from Shanghai and was scheduled to stay in Kyushu's waters for two further days.