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Japan seeks regional tourism shake-up as demand exposes staff shortages

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A government-backed added value scheme that provides funding for works such as renovating rooms was cited as one way to increase sales.

So tourist numbers are booming, prices are increasing, occupancy is nearly at capacity, the lack of staff make the existing workers all the more valuable...

...and yet somehow these privately -owned hotels need tax-payer funds to renovate their rooms so they can someday maybe give a pay increase?

16 ( +20 / -4 )

The government's call in its annual white paper on tourism comes as companies, which reduced their workforce amid coronavirus pandemic-prompted movement restrictions, are now seeing a rebound in travelers. Tourism is a key driver of local economic activity and employment.

Remember the ridiculous quote a few months back from a tourism industry rep wondering why over half of the staff quit at the start of the pandemic?

The government subsidized corporations while allowing them to layoff staff, unlike the paid furloughs and payroll protection in other G7 nations.

While pay across all industries on average rose for two straight years, wages in the hotel sector have fallen.

This how they address a labor shortage.

They are probably waiting for another round of government subsidies to fix the labor shortage.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

@divinda yes I agree they just want throw more of our tax away .

0 ( +11 / -11 )

So tourist numbers are booming, prices are increasing, occupancy is nearly at capacity, the lack of staff make the existing workers all the more valuable...

...and yet somehow these privately -owned hotels need tax-payer funds to renovate their rooms so they can someday maybe give a pay increase?

Exactly.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

hospitality and food services industries were three times more concerned about staffing than manufacturing firms were.

And then.

wages in the hotel sector have fallen.

I think I might have stumbled across the cause of this little problem.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Despite a rebound in tourism, labor shortages and increased workloads are regarded as concerns that need to be addressed.

Yeah no kidding! I live on the island that is one of the most travelled to tourist spots in Japan. We are pretty much at pre-covid numbers for domestic and foreign tourists at nearly 700,000 per month.

wages in the hotel sector have fallen

Yeah, and the people who are working in the industry are busting their arses off. But consider this, starting monthly base pay, for Sheraton Hotel in Okinawa, is 176,000 per month, add in a few "extras" like commuting allowance and others, it goes up to just under 200,000 per month. Take home pay is under 150,000.

You want to see "shortages" end? One easy answer.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Somebody is angling for a budget. It will be a budget that is never pared back when the problem is solved. In fact, the problem, whatever it is - it will be endlessly and artfully expanded - will never be solved but those who operate the budget will have created a little more influence, gained a livelihood and expanded the bureaucracy a little more. Soon, the whole country will have been exhausted or devitalised by a parallel management team that invents non-existent problems and lobbies for a budget. There is a place for market solutions but bureaucracy in Japan mostly succeeds in subverting them. It's a creeping socialism that even fails to address what socialism is really intended for - the workers.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Agree with all here. The mismanagement all around is astounding.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Give Chinese companies generous tax breaks on ownership and management, and special hotel worker visas for Chinese. The young can speak English and the number of Chinese tourists is increasing daily. Hotel staff will contribute to Japanese economy via tax and daily spending.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Basically, businesses want all the money and don't want to give the staff any of it. Well, a bit for onigiri.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Raise the low pay wage, watch the increse of staff! Its as simple as that! Nobody wants to be dealing with these entitled, loud and boisterous tourists for 920 yen per hour.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I met a fine looking tall African in my local combini yesterday - he was staff!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Funny that everyone wants to come and visit a country run by old men. Those old men must be doing a good job.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The agency said, following interviews with 89 tourism facilities, that they were able to charge an average of 54.2 percent more for renovated rooms.

So the 89 hotel owners immediately increased their staff's wages by 54.2% right? Right?

Or, let me guess, the (LDP funding) construction company got a barrel full of cash from us tax payers for the renovations, and the corporations owning the hotel chains increased profits, but not wages.

Good grief.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

its hard to talk abt increasing of wages while GREED is the king...hotel/hsopitality sector no exception.

capitalism as its best.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Funny that everyone wants to come and visit a country run by old men. "

Yes, because of the old men mismanagement , the yen is in the gutter and overseas tourist is a king here. Thank you LDP.

Those old men must be doing a good job."

Takes one to praise one comes to mind.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Yeah, and the people who are working in the industry are busting their arses off. But consider this, starting monthly base pay, for Sheraton Hotel in Okinawa, is 176,000 per month, add in a few "extras" like commuting allowance and others, it goes up to just under 200,000 per month. Take home pay is under 150,000.

That's it in a nutshell.

It's hard to sum up in a short paragraph, but living costs in the countryside aren't necessarily cheap. What you may gain in a cheaper house (if its old) or cheap vegetables you lose in needing a car for each adult. If you want to buy a car or build a house in Okinawa, you'll pay more due to the remoteness. Big ticket things like college fees for your kids are the same, and actually cost more due to the travelling.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Businesses in Japan need to learn to take risks and spend money to make money instead of waiting for government handouts.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

La vie douce

Yes, because of the old men mismanagement , the yen is in the gutter and overseas tourist is a king here. Thank you LDP.

Exactly! Well said!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Give Chinese companies generous tax breaks on ownership and management, and special hotel worker visas for Chinese. The young can speak English and the number of Chinese tourists is increasing daily. Hotel staff will contribute to Japanese economy via tax and daily spending.

Let me guess, you get paid a stipend by the PRC to make posts like this?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Here's another part of the problem here. There arent empty house like in mainland, and why would a single person want one anyway? The hotels have grouped together to build apartment complexes hidden from public view, near their hotels/resorts for single employees to live. They get subsidized housing, but are still paying for it, which cuts their actual take home pay even more.

But one thing, we arent THAT remote, dont know what people know about Okinawa, but on the main island, from Itoman to basically Kadena it's all one big city, with spots of green here and there! Land prices are higher now in many areas than they were during the bubble years, because people are investing here.

How many locations can claim 7 Hilton hotels in such a small prefecture? Oh and another major resort in planned for the near future. Sheraton, Ritz Carlton, Marriott Resorts, 2 Hyatt Regency's , Halekulani, and over 500 resorts and hotels in total in the prefecture, it's a no brainer that there will be shortages.

They WANT workers from Okinawa, because they are a more stable work force, as workers from outside the prefecture tend to leave after short periods and most do not see these places as career choices.

The solution is really easy, but the companies dont want to cut into their "profits" to solve it!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"base pay, for Sheraton Hotel in Okinawa, is 176,000 per month, add in a few "extras" like commuting allowance and others, it goes up to just under 200,000 per month. Take home pay is under 150,000."

Human capital: The skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual or population, viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organization or company.

Now we know what the skill of making a bed and picking up towels pays.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

To improve wages, the government has recommended ways to increase each customer's average spending.

The hotel I've been staying at for over ten years has gone up in prices by about 50-75% from last year.

Hotel owners should be raising the hardworking staffs' hourly wage by at least 200-300 yen an hour more. They're raking it in right now and aren't really passing it on to their workers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I came here for a snow holiday back in 2010 and stay for 9 years driving a shuttle bus for 3 years for a mate who own a hotel in Goryu. It was very enjoyable work. It was the best job satisfaction in my working life but the pay was poor 200,000 yen cash a month but the American Ex- pat tip very very well. I have say Canadian/ Kiwi are very hard work. The American were so easy going. Australian want to be your mate and shout you dinners and drinks but have short arm and long pocket when come to tipping. I only got into one fight with a guest if you can call a it a fight. I landed a well place round house kick to the head of a very very rude Israeli and knock him out standing. Yes very enjoyable work the tourist industry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To improve wages, the government has recommended

Moves like lips. Show me the Hankoed sealed delivered.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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