The government is planning to extend a domestic travel subsidy program, initially slated to end in March, through the summer in hopes of bolstering the tourism industry’s post-pandemic recovery.

The government-backed National Travel Discount program, which offers subsidies to fund discounts on transportation and lodging fees along with coupons that can be used for meals and other purchases, will not be applicable for dates involving the Golden Week holidays from April 29 to May 7, the tourism agency said Thursday.

The discounts will also not be applicable to reservations that have already been made for travel from April. But once prefectures officially extend the program, travelers can make reservations with discounts.

“The budget allocated for the program has been carried over from the previous year and is expected to continue through the summer until it runs out,” said Kensuke Dogahana, who is in charge of the program at the tourism agency.

The discount rate will remain the same. Travelers can get a 20% discount maxing out at ¥5,000 per person per night for accommodation that is packaged with transportation. If travelers just book a hotel, the maximum discount will be ¥3,000 per person per night.

In addition, travelers will get ¥2,000 worth of vouchers per person per day if they travel on weekdays and ¥1,000 on weekends, which can be used at restaurants and for souvenirs.

The number of domestic overnight stays in 2022 was up around 43% from the previous year at 453.97 million, and only down roughly 24% compared to the pre-pandemic level in 2019. Most travelers were Japanese, with foreign guests only accounting for 3.7% of the total.