Photo/IllutrationForeign tourists feed rice crackers to deer at the Nara Koen park in Nara on Oct. 3, 2018. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

NARA— With Nara Prefecture ranked second worst in Japan in terms of the number of overnight stayers in 2018, the prefectural government here is hoping a new campaign convinces foreign tourists to stay the night.

It is offering a 30-percent discount at more than 100 accommodations for a limited time to help increase the number of inbound tourists.

It is the first time a discount campaign limited to foreign tourists staying overnight in the prefecture has been implemented, officials said.

“Taking this opportunity, we want to promote Nara Prefecture in hopes of softening the effects of the winter business slump and the increase in the consumption tax rate,” Nara Governor Shogo Arai said at a regular news conference on Sept. 10.

The consumption tax rate was raised from 8 percent to 10 percent, starting Oct. 1.

The prefectural government has allocated a budget of 100 million yen ($927,700) for the campaign.

The discount is offered until Jan. 31, except for the holiday period between Dec. 28 and Jan. 5.

When foreign tourists make reservations on Agoda, a leading travel booking website, their accommodation fees will be reduced by about 30 percent.

The discount offer applies to 102 facilities in the prefecture meeting the criteria such as providing Wi-Fi services and posting information signs with descriptions in multiple languages. Of these, 58 facilities are located in the prefectural capital.