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Niseko in Hokkaido to introduce lodging tax of up to ¥2,000 a night

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It is expected to generate 162 million yen annually in revenue for the local government,

When everything fails just suck those money from tourists.

-4 ( +25 / -29 )

I don't have any issue with this. Provided that the money collected is actually used for the purposes it is supposed to be used.

A VERY BIG IF!!

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Great, three places I've been wanting to visit for quite some time in Fuji-san, Kyoto and Niseko are now charging extra fees. I'll pay them because I still want to go, but I definitely screwed up my timing in going. I regret not going sooner throughout my years of living here.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Hopefully people will start seeing the greed motive behind all these extra charges and simply not visit.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

Those rich Australians can manage the price increases but the average Tanaka?

It just makes the Japanese feel poorer which they are increasingly becoming

-5 ( +19 / -24 )

Hopefully they'll redirect some of that money to the Japanese Avalanche Network so that we can get daily condition updates rather than twice a week.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Is Hokkaido trying to wreck it's tourist industry?

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Japanese tv, I think it was NHK, did a documentary last year about Japan's ski resorts. The section on Niseko said that the hotel area had run out of water and the local authority was faced with a massive bill, well into the millions of USD, to connect to a new aquifer several kilometers away. The program said it was enough to bankrupt the town.

The average Tanaka was priced out of Niseko at least ten years ago, just as they are priced out of Ginza and increasingly being priced out of Okinawa. The price of ski gear these days probably prices most people out of the sport altogether. Its at least 200,000 yen per person before you even set off. One reason, possibly the main reason, why people continue coming to Japan to ski is that Niseko can charge 2000 yen a night in tax and now famously 2500 yen for a bowl of ramen and that is still much cheaper than skiing in other countries. Tanaka san's 10,000 yen bills will buy him even less in Thredbo, Whistler, Val d'Isere etc.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Expect a concrete squid sculpture in Niseko sometime soon.

I'd love to mock that statue but apparently it brings the punters in. They have assigned a massive economic effect to it. It must be the power of the selfie. Apparently it survived the Noto Earthquake okay.

My favourite reason to mock the statue is that the squid catch is about 95% down compared to the 1960s. Its gone from being I dunno, a catfood level food to something that is a luxury.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

How to drive would-be tourists away from your town ... without actually saying that you're trying to drive would-be tourists away from your town.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Alan Harrison Today  09:05 am JST

Is Hokkaido trying to wreck it's tourist industry?

No.

Niseko isn't the only place to enjoy in Hokkaido.

There are plenty of nice places to visit here.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

For the wealthy foreign ski nuts this Y2000 is nothing. As long as the Yen stays weak Niseko prices are not going to deter tourists.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Guess it is time to ski at Furano. I like Niseko in the summer better than in the winter, but it is a shame how built up ( except for properly planned infrastructure including transportation and water supplies) the area has become. 20 years ago was much more interesting.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Go ahead, bite the hand that is feeding you.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

There is over-demand at Niseko and they can ask for whatever they think is necessary to improve the infrastructure. I wonder why they haven't done it when giving construction permits to all the foreign owned hotels! It's over built I hear and they should be sharing the burden on all the town growth!

kohakuebisu, ski gear can be much cheaper and now at Yuzawa the rentals are incredibly cheap! Some pensions include it in the price or 1000-2500 yen per day at most. Bigger resorts still keep the prices around 5-6000 yen per day but I guess coming all the away from somewhere distant this isn't the main burden!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Looking forward to reading all about the new transportation options that will be introduced along with the improved amenities with a break down of the time frame and full transparency. /s

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Funny how desperately Japan wanted all these foreign tourists, but now when they finally show up they’re ready to stick it up their ass.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

The ability to provide services to peak demand (in winter on Niseko) requires geater infrastructure... the only question is who should pay for it. Year-round residents who have nothing to do with the increased demand, or facilities that cater directly to and provide services for that demand? A hotel tax seems a fairer way to generate revenue than a city-wide property tax.

Is it fun to pay an "extra" tax? Nope, but it's more fair that people who create extra stress on resources, water, power, roads, etc., pay for the extra capacity that their visits require.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

OssanAmericaToday  09:49 am JST

For the wealthy foreign ski nuts this Y2000 is nothing. As long as the Yen stays weak Niseko prices are not going to deter tourists.

Especially considering that this maximum 2000 JPY tax applies to people staying in a room with a nightly room charge of over 100,000 JPY, for these people, 2000 JPY is peanuts.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

For the wealthy foreign ski nuts this Y2000 is nothing. As long as the Yen stays weak Niseko prices are not going to deter tourists. - Especially considering that this maximum 2000 JPY tax applies to people staying in a room with a nightly room charge of over 100,000 JPY, for these people, 2000 JPY is peanuts.

Absolutely, for people spending a few thousand$$ to come for Nisseko powder snow another hundred bucks will not make a difference at all. Especially while yen remains in the dolldrums.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Quit being so greedy. Overcharging is part of the culture in this country. Hokkaido is already ridiculous. A nice bowl of Ramen anywhere in Japan 800 - 1000 yen. The same Ramen bowl in Hokkaido is 2000 yen.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Ski operators and hotels suffered mightily during the pandemic, so this 'revenge pricing' one might say. Those with a great product can get away with it but it's not without risks. Especially Japanese will likely steer clear.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I can see the local governments needing tax revenue with the population declining and fewer locals to pay for infrastructure. It seems like this is going to be the way for other areas of government spending, too. Bleed tourists (not only foreign) for a little money and cover your budget.

I feel bad about all these service taxes. As if the airport taxes weren't bad enough for those of us who need to travel out of here occasionally. Now, we get nailed when we want to go skiing, too. Ugh

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The price of ski gear these days probably prices most people out of the sport altogether. Its at least 200,000 yen per person before you even set off.

I do not know the exact prices recently but unless you ski every day or every weekend, gears/clothes can last for twenty years. And good bargains on second hands. So the initial price is a long term investment. The cost is on accommodation, tickets, transportation, etc.

More to come with monetizing on tourism and accommodation taxes.

I hope the money will be cleverly used, not to pour more concrete infrastructures.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For the wealthy foreign ski nuts this Y2000 is nothing. As long as the Yen stays weak Niseko prices are not going to deter tourists.

Yep. Those flying in and booking accommodation are probably not going to baulk at a 100¥ to 2000¥ surcharge per person per night.

Japanese families visiting Niseko may feel it more than cashed up Aussie skiers and boarders, however.

Pro tip - Rusutsu resort, on the other side of Mt Yotei from Niseko, is awesome with just as much powder and great runs. No extra surcharge there!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The non-statutory tax approved by Takeaki Matsumoto is set to be introduced in the popular ski spot from November. It is expected to generate 162 million yen annually in revenue for the local government,

Probably not!

The people that go to ski and snowboard locations also are those most fluent in internet searches.

So expect the popular searches to be ski resorts in Hokkaido excluding "Niseko mountain resort" or worse ski resorts not in Hokkaido without high taxes.

These are not high density places. People traveling to them have to pay quite a bit for trains, planes and automobiles (yes movie joke).

They are not located in highly popular high tourist trafic areas!

Yes Tokyo, Osaka even Fukuoka can pull this off because people are going to visit a lot of places in the area and high population of the area.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Several studies done in Europe have shown mixed results!

Where alternatives similar destinations at lower prices due to the taxation in one location the taxed location stuffers and the dream government revenue doesn't materialize and local businesses suffer from falling sales and bookings.

Again where no good or similar alternatives are available then again the dreamed tax revenue still may not happen.

Do to overall increase in stay the tendency is to cut the number of days.

So a 5 night 6 day ski vacation becomes a 4 night 5 day vacation with the hotel losing one night and the ski mountain losing on day ski pass revenue.

Where it has little impact is when as a country all places of accomodation across the country are subject to charging the same tax, but again if s neighbouring county is cheaper then the country charging the tax loses out again.

Other cases of little impact are places that are so popular so famous like Paris London, Tokyo, NY, etc... where very little can truly have much negative impact.

So lets say a hotel room is costing me ¥10,000 s night right now, a 5 night stay is ¥50,000.

So that will add in ¥1,000 a night extre that is ¥5,000 for a 5 night stay! If it is the max ¥2,000 that is the present cost of one night stay.

Many people have a budget for a vacation and if that budget was ¥50,000 fir accommodations then it will be one less night and by domino effect one less day skiing, so one less day pass, one less day shopping for souvenirs one less day eating out, etc...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We recently took a long overdue overseas trip to visit family.

The plan was to stay in my home city with family and to stay 3 nights in another city to visit other family now living there.

We found a nice hotel reasonably priced but when we went to the online checkout we found that the city had a substantial accomodation tax that increased our cost.

So we decided not to go for 3 days, instead we rented a car drove the 300km visited family and returned to my parents place the same day doing some sightseeing along the way.

So the hotel lost out on business, the restaurants we would have had to eat at lost out, and any stores we may have done some shopping at lost out.

And the city not only didn't get the accomodation tax but also loses out on other tax revenue our overall spending would have generated.

And we are not alone in changing plans when cost don't fit the budget!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

CaptDingleheimerToday  10:41 am JST

Funny how desperately Japan wanted all these foreign tourists, but now when they finally show up they’re ready to stick it up their ass.

If you believe that Yen 2000 is sticking it up anyone's ass, I strongly suggest you start some financial planning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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