quote of the day

The central government and municipalities, which aim to make Japan a travel destination, need to provide long-term support for accommodation facilities to secure and train workers.


Mitsuo Fujiyama, a researcher at the Japan Research Institute Ltd, who is knowledgeable about the tourism economy. Labor shortages at hotels are a national problem. According to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the number of people working in the hotel industry stood at 530,000 people in 2022, which is 120,000 down from before the pandemic in 2019.

© Yomiuri Shimbun

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The government doesn't need to provide "support" to hotels, which are notorious for overworking and underpaying their staff. If those businesses can't do their business, then they should go out of business or find another business.

Japan doesn't need this industry. There are around 130 jobs for every 100 job-seekers in Japan. A government effort to funnel precious workers into an industry that pays rock-bottom wages makes no sense and will eventually dampen Japan's economic growth and vitality. It needs to promote high-wage industries and allow low-wage ones to fall by the wayside.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

down from before the pandemic in 2019.

For any companies or industries that complain about labor shortage, what effort they already made for improving that? Increase salary? Better working condition?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

This is a clear case for encouraging more controlled immigration to fill the gaps. Hotels have always been an entry level job for any hard working immigrant that’s keen to make a go of it. Treat your staff well, support them well, offer incentives and promotions for diligence and this industry will thrive. It’s the human part of Human Resources that is key. Back in my Hilton days we’d get a free suit room on our birthdays and there was always a celebration of the staff member of the month. That sort of thing goes a long, long way. It even translates over to the guest experience. Japans tendency to always look for people at the bottom to berate and discipline is gunna have to go.

get it right and everyone will be better for it, those that can’t do it will go bust, as they should. Japans workplace revolution brought on by the demographic challenge is a much needed one. Half glass full.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No way that taxpayers should be helping out firms that are just gouging tourists. Just stayed in one clearly understaffed hotel in Tokyo and paid far too much money for the "service". It would have been a luxury stay in Bangkok for the same price. They expected guests to pick up the cutlery and crockery from their miserable breakfast and put them on a shelf. You have to be joking. I don't pay good money to do staff's work. Hire more staff and, of course, train them properly. And endless commentary and greetings at breakfast don't substitute for better choices and more space. You just end up feeling ripped off. But somehow, it seems when foreigners enter Japan their sense of service, taste and beauty becomes opaque. Is there something in the air?

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The hotel rates are pretty much at their peak in most touristy places...double to triple what they were a year ago. Yet they dont share their profits with staff...increase staff hourly pay rates by extra 500 yen and watch the shortage decrease.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The younger generation of tourists (and me) prefer minpaku like AirBnB. It is more flexible and can open up areas to tourism flexibly without substantial investment, staffing or risk, as and when needed. Hotels are far less flexible.

The government cut the numbers of minpaku. Those who only use them will just go elsewhere. Areas that cannot sustain or staff a hotel, will get far fewer tourists.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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