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Should you buy Olympic tickets to guarantee a Japan holiday in 2021?

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Loyalty Lobby had an interesting article yesterday about travelling to Japan in 2021.

When the World Cup was held in Russia in 2018, ticket holders were allowed to travel to the country (during the tournament and for the rest of 2018) without a visa.

With coronavirus still likely to be an issue in July and August, it is possible than Japan will continue to ban foreign tourism except for people holding tickets for olympic and paralympic events.

The official UK seller of olympic tickets is only offering flight, hotel and ticket packages. However, UK residents can purchase stand-alone paralympic tickets – from just £11 – via Nirvana. Nirvana is the official authorised paralympic ticket seller for the UK.

There is no guarantee that buying an £11 paralympic ticket will let you magically walk into Japan when all other tourists are banned but it is a low cost gamble. Flights and hotels should also be easier to find during the paralympics (24th August to 5th September) than during the main games (23rd July to 8th August).

Remember that redeeming Virgin Points for ANA flights is easily the best value and most comfortable way of getting to Tokyo.

Comments (58)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Fm says:

    Does this mean a 27.5k spend on the premium IHG card this calendar year to qualify?

    • Rob says:


    • C says:

      Would be great if Rob or someone else could confirm that it is officially 55,000 again. I made Spire elite on a handful of stays + CC spend in 2020, and would seek to do so again. I don’t value Spire over Platinum, but 25,000 points is more useful than another VS voucher for my marginal Mastercard spending after the IHG free night.

  • Emma says:

    I would suggest that labelling the Olympics as the ‘main games’ is rather dismissive of the Paralympic Games, which is a major International event in its own right.

    • Lisa says:

      Perhaps the non-Paralymtic Games?

    • Aston100 says:

      What would you call it Emma?

    • Charlieface says:

      It is a much larger event. No-one is belittling the Paralympics, It’s just a statement of fact

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        +1. We have maybe a skewed view in the UK as, to give credit where due, the Paralympics was planned and marketed very well, with a further boost off the success of the Olympics, resulting in huge Paralympic crowds for 2012. This has been VERY different to many other paralympic games.

  • Harry Holden says:

    55 night or 55,000 points target is there.
    Interestingly, Elite status expiration is showing as 12/31/2022.

    Did I miss that memo?

    • ChrisC says:

      Sure it says 2022?

      Everyone’s 2020 status was extended to 31st December 2021

  • Brian says:

    Even if they’re not cancelled it’s unrealistic to think that there won’t be any restrictions. The start is only 6 and a half months away and a decision will probably need to be made in the next 3 months or so for planning purposes.

    • Brian says:

      Tokyo Olympics

    • BJ says:

      Cancelled our trip, my guess is they will only let visitors in a week before start. Don’t think they will want the risk of a covid surge before the Olympics even start and the bad press that would create. Probably a bit premature but figured I can do without the hassle and will plan for a trip now in spring 22.

  • QFFlyer says:

    Interesting, mine shows as 55k/55n (Spire AMB), OH’s shows as 75k/75n (normal Spire). So maybe that’s it.

  • Alan says:

    At least Accor have done that right, sadly no similar sensible treatment when it comes to points expiry. IHG status is pretty easy to hit with the credit card so I’ve no major problem if they don’t reduce it.

  • ChrisC says:

    Just had it confirmed via web chat that the 2021 target for apire is 55 qualifying nights / 55k qualifying spend

    Agent I ‘spoke’ to on the web chat said they would escalate the web / app mismatch

  • Simon says:

    Thanks for the info Chris!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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