The Japanese government aims to establish 500 areas for homestays on farms and fishing communities across the country to help attain its goal of boosting the annual number of foreign visitors to 40 million by 2020, according to a draft action plan on tourism.
The four-year action plan through 2020 when the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are held will be approved by the Cabinet by the end of March, aiming to promote tourism particularly in rural areas, according to the draft.
Under such homestay programs, visitors will experience agriculture, craft-making and other aspects of local cultures. The government believes the plan could also help increase farmers’ income, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The draft also calls for designating 200 areas to attract tourists by making use of various cultural assets, particularly in the Tohoku area in northeastern Japan hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
It also aims to attract more foreign visitors to national parks.
The previous target of 20 million foreign visitors was reached last year.