The government wants tourists to consider Japan as a nature destination, and it is working with local municipalities and enterprises to offer such activities.

The government will decide in June how to select eligible parks and businesses. One or two national parks will be selected.

It will then invite luxury hotel operators to join the program. The plan is for these operators to open small boutique hotels of up to a few dozen rooms but to charge at least tens of thousands of yen per night in each.

Currently, hotel operators can open properties within designated areas in national parks as long as they have permission from the government. Marriott International of the U.S. have already opened a hotel in a national park.

Under its new plan, the government is considering allowing operators to open hotels outside the current designated areas as long as they gain local permission.

The government hopes its plan will bring tourism receipts to these national parks and their surrounding areas. Hotel operators are expected to work with the Ministry of the Environment and local municipalities to put together plans that will encourage guests to explore the local areas by sampling the cuisine and enjoying attractions such as hot springs.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hopes that tourism receipts can reach the pre-pandemic figure of more than 5 trillion yen ($36.6 billion) annually.

Nikkei staff writers