In an effort to entice more domestic travelers to Sapporo this winter, Sapporo City has decided to make its major tourist facilities completely FREE throughout the month of February next year. This is part of a raft of measures aimed at boosting the local tourist industry during what looks likely to be a difficult winter season.
In normal years Sapporo would see its highest tourist numbers in February because of the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, but next year there are plans to hold the festival on a much reduced scale and it is feared that tourist numbers will fall dramatically as a result
To stimulate more tourist traffic Sapporo City has passed a supplementary budget that covers discounts on accommodation, the distribution of restaurant coupons, and free access to tourist facilities. From February next year, visitors to the city will be offered a 5000 yen discount on their hotel accommodation and each visitor will receive a 2000 yen coupon for restaurants in Sapporo. Popular sightseeing locations such as the Sapporo Clock Tower, Sapporo TV Tower, Mount Moiwa Ropeway, Mount Okura Ski Jump Stadium, and the Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill will all be completely free to enter from February 1st until February 28th.
Although the Sapporo Snow Festival will not be held on the same grand scale as in previous years, and without large snow sculptures, it is hoped that these discounts, coupons, and the free entry to tourist facilities will help attract people to a city which is at its most beautiful in the winter months.
Article by Michael Lambe. Photos by (1) NOBU/pixta, (2) Ryu K/pixta. All rights reserved.