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Tourists wanted

11 Comments

Girls dressed as geisha walk past near a rickshaw near Sensoji temple in Tokyo. The triple disaster of March 11's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis has set back a Japanese government campaign to boost tourism to help shake off the economic malaise.

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If they want to boost tourism more effectively, they should just drop the prices of hotels and air tickets. I was looking to book a hotel in Kyoto for the Golden Week and i was surprised to see that the prices were actually the same as before the disaster. This is not very attractive for foreign tourists.

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I was looking to book a hotel in Kyoto for the Golden Week and i was surprised to see that the prices were actually the same as before the disaster.

That's because Kyoto is not one bit affected by the disaster. Why would they drop their room prices? Also during Golden Week, most visitors will be Japanese, probably Kanto folks looking for an escape.

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That's because Kyoto is not one bit affected by the disaster. Why would they drop their room prices? Also during Golden Week, most visitors will be Japanese, probably Kanto folks looking for an escape.

That's a bit shortsighted, especially as you yourself say most visitors will be from Kanto. Precisely the problem with disasters like this, and economic downtimes, is all the knock-on effects to people and businesses who were not directly affected. If people in Kanto are stretched financially then hotel prices in Kyoto should reflect that, if people from Kanto are a major revenue source.

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It's not as simple as just dropping prices. There's the whole austerity / restraint thing going on which just means some people aren't willing to go on holiday now. Not to mention prices are not always inflated needlessly. Some places will take a huge profit but others won't. Those simple can't drop their prices much lower. Just because YOUR holiday browsing wasn't cheap doesn't mean it could be.

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The problem is that tourists are not willing to travel to Japan in general. It doesn't make any difference if we are talking about Fukushima prefecture or Kansai or even Okinawa. A large majority of people who were going to visit Japan for the Hanami period canceled their trips (even if they were going to visit...Hokkaido) mainly due to fears of the nuclear crisis and the aftershocks. Therefore, hotels around Japan MUST drop the prices in this crucial moment for the Japanese tourism industry (at least the major hotel chains that can afford this policy). There is no other way to attract tourists.

Keep in mind that with all the sensationalism from the foreign media, just being in Japan makes you a hero (or a lunatic)!

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If it is anything like the situation with American carriers, spiking fuel prices have led to massive flight cuts and price hikes that are basically out of anyone's control. At least this isn't 2010 anymore and the airlines won't be making sizable annual profits this year.

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The problem is that tourists are not willing to travel to Japan in general.

That's very true, and I don't think a drop in hotel prices will change that. The tourism market in Japan is still very, very much domestic-oriented so as long as that market is still catered to the businesses will do OK.

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That's very true, and I don't think a drop in hotel prices will change that. The tourism market in Japan is still very, very much domestic-oriented so as long as that market is still catered to the businesses will do OK.

Smorkian -- agree with your comment about the Japan tourism market not being domestically oriented -- where everyone is used to paying too much for everything. But, your last sentence is a dis-connect. In case you missed it, the Japanese economy is going to SHRINK in the second half of the year. Which means both business and personal travel will be cut. So, how do you then predict these "businesses will do OK"?

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Which means both business and personal travel will be cut. So, how do you then predict these "businesses will do OK"?

Shrinking doesn't mean the economy is collapsing. People will cut some of their spending so business will be down, but still OK. This is not a difficult concept to understand. There's grey area between "business is booming" and "I am out of business". It's called "Doing OK". Understand now?

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The tourism market in Japan is still very, very much domestic-oriented so as long as that market is still catered to the businesses will do OK.

The people running the hotels, ryokans and souvenir shops in Hakone were saying on the telly this morning that business had slumped to less than one-third of normal because all the Chinese and Korean tourists were staying away. If a drop in foreign tourists cuts your business by two-thirds, I'd say that was not a domestic-oriented business.

Hakone is by the way cutting prices in an attempt to attract domestic business. Some places are apparently doing almost half-price deals over Golden Week.

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Yeah people always seem to think that foreign tourists = whities, but obviously being Japan most of the tourists are other Asians, just like most tourists in Europe are other Europeans. The Koreans and Chinese tourists are plentiful but they blend in a bit better with the locals than us whities, and I think those two countries have been scared off by the radiation even more than the westerners.

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