Japanese Govt Sees Public-Private Facility to Promote Workations

In Japan, demand for travel increases at certain times of the year, such as weekends, bank holidays and the year-end holiday season. But travelers tend to spend shorter consecutive overnight stays than people in western countries, which is likely a factor behind the sluggish growth in domestic travel spending.

However, workationers usually make longer stays that include weekdays, leading to high hopes among people and businesses in regional areas. This has prompted local governments like Hyuga in Miyazaki Prefecture to start building labor centers.

To date, acceptance of the working style has been relatively slow. According to an online survey of 600 companies conducted by the tourism agency last year, only 5.3% of respondents said they had introduced working holidays. Respondents cited “It is difficult to distinguish between work and vacation” and “Their effectiveness cannot be measured” as reasons for the lack of introduction.

On June 17, the tourism board began looking for businesses and local governments to participate in an experimental project at about 30 locations across the country. The project investigates whether working holidays improve concentration and reduce stress levels by allowing employees of participating companies to spend time in regional areas and interact with local residents. Experts will advise the participating companies and regional institutions, and expenses – such as accommodation costs – will be covered by the central government.

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