(TOKYO) — It was a nice idea proposed by the Japan Tourism Agency, but ultimately it failed to get off the ground.
In a desperate attempt to lure tourists back to a country plagued by radiation fears and constant earthquakes, the Japan Tourism Agency proposed an unprecedented campaign earlier this year to dish out 10,000 free round-trip airfare tickets.
The catch to the proposal required interested participants to publicize their trip on blogs and social media sites.
Tourism Agency officials announced this week that the proposal was not approved by lawmakers in the government’s budget draft for fiscal year 2012.
The number of foreign visitors to Japan has dropped drastically since a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Power plant in March. In the first three months following the triple disasters, the number of foreign visitors to Japan was cut in half compared with the same time in 2010.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Karla Pequenino, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Angela Dewan and Max Blau, CNN
Barbara Starr, CNN