The tourist numbers from 2013 were released last week, showing a record 11.25 million tourists who visited Japan last year. These numbers are up 22.7 percent from 2012, causing hotel businesses and investors in the region to take notice and capitalize. Industry analysts point to factors such as a weaker yen, cheaper air fares, less strict visa requirements going into the country as the cause for Japan enjoying this tourism spike.
Regional hotel investment outfit Red Planet Hotels, one of the shareholders of budget brand Tune Hotels, said that it is looking to open at least 20 more hotels by 2020 in Japan to catch the wave of tourists that they say are sure to come in the next few years. “There’s a lot of tourism now being encouraged into Japan and we’re going to use the familiarity of the Tune concept to attract those international visitors,” Tim Hansing, CEO of Red Planet Hotels. “When you go to Japan, you can really feel this palpable sense of optimism in the country which is very, very encouraging for us,” Hansing added. “We’re cautiously optimistic about it.”
The Japanese government has aggressively pushed for tourism in an attempt to positively affect the country’s struggle against economic deflation in the past few years. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies has at the very least helped the country’s stock market push nearly 60 percent higher over the course of 2013, while the yen has depreciated 18 percent against the dollar in the same period – a very good thing both for Japan’s export driven economy and for tourism as well. With more hotels planning to open up in the next few years, and with Tokyo bagging the rights to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, one can relatively be sure that the country is ready to accept more tourists in the next few years.
[via NBC News]
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