One year later, Tokyo’s best hotels don’t hang any vacancy signs for the Olympics

TOKYO – Some of the capital’s most iconic hotels have already stopped taking room reservations during next summer’s Olympics as the city faces a shortage of 14,000 rooms for 10 million expected visitors when the festivities will begin.

The luxury hotel Okura Tokyo, which will reopen next month after 110 billion yen ($ 1 billion) in renovations, halted bookings for the general public during the Olympics in order to be able to offer rooms to members and staff of the International Olympic Committee.

Another of the capital’s classic hotels, Imperial Hotel Tokyo, is set to welcome honored guests during the Games, and has yet to say whether it will accept general reservations.

The Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington hotel, located in the bay area where many Olympic facilities are concentrated, also plans that its 830 rooms will be occupied by people linked to the Games. The hotel said that on June 20, the day the results of the Olympic ticket lottery were announced, it had to turn down all of the more than 100 inquiries it received, including some of the winners of the lottery.

While most visitors have probably paid the price for luxury hotels, this nonetheless adds to the shortage of accommodation in the capital despite a recent construction boom. Tokyo will have a total of 170,000 rooms in 2020 – up 30,000 from 2017 – but that’s still not enough for the 10 million foreign and domestic tourists expected in the city when the Games take place on July 24. until August 9 next year, said Takayuki Miyajima of the Mizuho Research Institute.

A guest room at Ascott Marunouchi Tokyo.

The projections are based on the London 2012 Olympics. The shortage could be “particularly severe” in the districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya, where housing is in high demand by foreigners, Miyajima said.

The organizing committee has tentatively reserved around 46,000 hotel rooms near the Olympic facilities for members of sport governing bodies and others involved in the Games. A spokesperson said reservations included spare rooms just in case, to make sure the event ran smoothly. With nearby hotels prioritizing athletes, Olympic Committee members and other officials, spectators will have a hard time finding rooms.

This is already driving up prices. A large booking site showed that a single room with a double bed, private bathroom, and no meals would cost 67,000 yen ($ 617) at a business hotel in Tokyo’s Minato district for the night of July 31. 2020. That’s quadruple the price of the same room last week.

Travel agencies, looking to book rooms for next summer’s tours in advance, are already expressing concern about finding accommodation.

“We don’t know how many rooms will be available until then,” said a representative from a travel agency, who appeared concerned. During periods of high traffic, such as the late summer holidays, prices typically increase 50% to 100% from off-season rates, but the representative said prices can go as high as “2.5 to 3”. times’ off-season levels during the Olympics.

As of last month, Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama had around 6,800 private residences legally registered as Airbnb-style accommodations, known as minpaku in Japanese. Booking sites show that prices for these accommodations in central Tokyo have already soared to more than 100,000 yen per night during the Games.

To help cover the accommodation gap, the capital plans to turn cruise ships docked at the Tokyo International Cruise Terminal into floating hotels from July 24 to 29, adding 2,116 rooms. The prefecture-level cities of Kanagawa, Yokohama and Kawasaki, are planning to do the same.

Municipalities near the capital are competing to capture unmet demand. The town of Maebashi in Gunma prefecture has offered to cover half the costs – with a cap of 10 million yen – for companies doing renovations for foreign visitors, such as installing multilingual signs. The city aims to “attract visitors based on our location one hour from Tokyo” by high-speed Shinkansen train, a tourism official said.

“It may be necessary to make flexible use of existing facilities, such as pensions and research centers of private companies and public agencies,” said Hajime Takebayashi, professor of tourism at the University of Wakayama.

Source link

About Mohammed B. Hale

Check Also

Take a Korean Vacation in Japan with Tokyu Hotels and New Shibuya 109 Theme Hotel Plan

K-pop fans will love this budget staycation! Since traveling abroad is a bit tough these …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.