All you need to know about Japan’s Go To Travel campaign
As we all adjust to a new way of travelling, you can attract more domestic guests by participating in the Japanese government’s sponsored Go To Travel campaign with Booking.com.
On this page, you’ll find more information about promoting your property on our platform during the Go To Travel campaign. We’ve also brought together answers to the questions you and other partners are asking the most about this campaign.
We’ll keep this page up to date as the campaign runs, so check back regularly for the latest details and advice.
Once you’re ready to be a part of Go To Travel with us, just click on the button to get started.
Table of contents
We’re proud to be participating in the Japanese government’s Go To Travel campaign. Go To Travel is a subsidy programme that aims to boost domestic tourism in Japan in order to support recovery for the travel industry and the Japanese economy as a whole.
The Go To Travel campaign started on 22 July 2020 and runs until 31 January 2021, but it may be extended. The campaign provides a 35% discount for guests who book from within Japan for a stay at a property that’s also in Japan. The maximum discount guests can receive is JPY 14,000 per person per night, for a maximum of seven nights per booking. The discount amount is covered by the Japanese government, so there’s no cost to your property for taking part.
Since 1 October 2020, guests also receive coupons to use in participating restaurants and shops in the destination. These coupons are worth approximately 15% of the total price of the reservation before the discount, up to a maximum of JPY 6,000 per person per night. The value of these coupons is also covered by the Japanese government, so there’s no cost to your property. We provide the coupons to your guests electronically, so you don’t need to do anything extra in order for them to receive them.
To help you generate as many bookings as possible, we’ll also promote your property and highlight to travellers that you’re taking part in the campaign with us. We’ll do this by adding a special ‘Go To Travel’ badge next to your property’s name in search results and on your property page.
Only leisure travellers are eligible for the Go To Travel campaign, so business travellers can’t claim either the discount or coupons.
For the most recent official information about the campaign, take a look at the Go To Travel Secretariat pages on the Japan Association of Travel Agents’ website.
Taking part in the Go To Travel campaign is optional and free of charge. To register for the Go To Travel campaign with us, you need to meet two sets of requirements: the eligibility criteria set by the Japanese government and the eligibility criteria set by Booking.com.
Japanese government eligibility requirements
Before you can take part in the campaign with us, you’ll first need to register with the Japanese government’s Go To Travel Secretariat. To find out how to do this and read about the current eligibility requirements, take a look at their website.
Booking.com eligibility requirements
After you’ve registered with the Go To Travel Secretariat, you’ll also need to activate Online Payments if you haven’t done this already. We need you to do this so that we can accept payments for you when guests make a booking using this campaign.
Here’s how to activate Online Payments:
- Log in to the extranet
- Click on Finance and then click on Online Payments
- Click on Activate
Also keep in mind that if you currently accept bookings without a credit card from domestic guests, we’ll turn this option off for you during this campaign. This means that guests will need to provide a credit card for any booking they make with you.
Once you’ve taken care of these requirements, it’s quick and easy to get started on the special ‘Go To Travel Campaign’ page in the extranet.
When you’re ready to take part, here’s what to do:
- Log in to the extranet
- Click on Opportunities
- Click on Go To Travel Campaign (if you’ve only just activated Online Payments, this can take up to 24 hours to appear)
- Take another look at the requirements to make sure you meet them
- Tick the box to confirm you’ve registered with the Go To Travel Secretariat
- Click on Yes, opt in
We’ll start showing potential guests that you’re participating in the campaign within 24 hours.
Which travellers are eligible to receive the Go To Travel discount?
Leisure travellers booking Japanese properties from within Japan are eligible to make a booking using the Go To Travel campaign. Once you’ve signed up to take part in the campaign with us, we’ll promote your property to anyone searching for a domestic booking from within Japan.
When guests make a booking with you using the campaign, we’ll also ask them to confirm that they agree to the terms and conditions of the campaign, which include the eligibility criteria.
How do I identify Go To Travel campaign reservations?
When you receive a booking made using the campaign, we’ll highlight it for you with a note on the ‘Reservation details’ page for that booking in the extranet. Here’s how to see this:
- Log in to the extranet
- Click on Reservations
- Filter the information that’s displayed by entering the reservation, check-in, check-out, invoice or stay dates for the booking you’re interested in
- Click on the guest name or booking number for the reservation you’re interested in
- On the Reservation details page that loads, look for a note telling you that the reservation is part of the Go To Travel campaign
If you use a channel manager or property management system, we’ll include this note about bookings made using this campaign in the comments and remarks area of the reservation details.
How does the discount work?
Residents in Japan receive a government-funded upfront 35% discount when they book a domestic overnight stay. We take care of arranging this discount for you by reducing the total price the guest pays for the stay. You don’t need to do anything extra, and there’s no cost to you – you’ll still receive payment for the full price of the reservation before the discount.
In addition, guests receive coupons worth approximately 15% of the total reservation price before the discount, which they can use in participating restaurants and shops in the destination. Guests have been able to receive these coupons since 1 October 2020. We provide the coupons to your guests electronically, so you don’t need to do anything extra, and there’s no cost to you since the value of of the coupons is also covered by the Japanese government.
How is the upfront discount calculated?
We calculate the 35% upfront part of the discount based on the total value of the booking, after we’ve already applied any other promotions like Genius discounts.
Is there a maximum discount amount?
Yes, the maximum amount guests can receive for the 35% upfront discount is JPY 14,000 per person per night, for a maximum of seven nights per booking. The maximum amount guests can receive in local coupons is JPY 6,000 per person per night.
Guests who make bookings using the Go To Travel campaign and check in on or after 1 October 2020 will receive local coupons worth approximately 15% of the total reservation price before the upfront discount. The maximum amount guests can receive in local coupons is JPY 6,000 per per person per night, for a maximum of seven nights per booking.
We’ll provide guests with these coupons electronically. That means you don’t need to do anything extra in order for your guests to receive them. There’s also no cost to your property, since the value of the coupons is also covered by the Japanese government.
Your guests can find out more about the coupons, how to claim them and where they can use them on the Go To Travel page we’ve developed especially for travellers.
How will I get paid for Go To Travel bookings?
For reservations using this campaign, we’ll collect payment from guests at the time of booking. We’ll do this so that we can facilitate the 35% upfront discount.
You’ll still receive a payment as normal for the full reservation amount before the discount, and we’ll pay you this following the usual Online Payments process.
If you haven’t used Online Payments before, you can find out how this works by taking a look at this article.
How do you calculate commission for these bookings?
We’ll calculate the amount of commission you need to pay based on the full amount of the reservation before the discount. We’ll follow our normal invoicing and payment process just as we do with any other booking.
Can I or guests modify a Go To Travel reservation?
You and your guests can only make changes to a Go To Travel reservation if it doesn’t affect the total price. If it would affect the total price, the modification won’t be possible and your guest will need to cancel the reservation and then book again.
How will Booking.com promote my property during this campaign?
We want to make sure everyone in Japan looking to travel knows about this campaign and your property. That’s why we’ll promote it using email campaigns, advertising banners and a special filter that helps travellers find participating properties. If you’re taking part, we’ll also add a special ‘Go To Travel’ badge next to your property’s name.
How can I show potential guests I’m following the government’s health and safety requirements?
When you register with the Go To Campaign Secretariat, you agree that you’ll follow all of the government’s health and safety requirements. We also recommend that you show potential guests the measures you’re taking by completing the health and safety details in the extranet, which we’ll display on our property page.
Will other Booking.com discounts still apply to Go To Travel reservations?
Yes, we’ll still apply any other special rates or promotions you’re offering before we calculate the amount of the 35% government-subsidised discount.
Working together with Booking.com