tokyo 2020 olympics

'Everything evaporated' - Olympic overseas spectator ban hits Japan tourism

48 Comments
By Hiroshi HIYAMA and Etienne BALMER

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48 Comments
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There will be a great surge in national and international traveling after Covid-19. Good days will be coming for those who can manage and survive this hardship.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

I still feel the govt will have to walk back no visitors in some form or another. One way could be if you got the jab with proof, you can come in.Or there are going to be class action lawsuits against the govt.They won't lose though.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

And on the other hand, there will be a slow recovery in national and international traveling after Covid-19. Businesses are adapting and realize that virtual meetings are more efficient and a new era in business communications is under way. The travel industry will have to restructure, as will commercial office space businesses.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

A lesson for the industry may be that you shouldn't over-rely, over-invest on one-shot, special international event lasting just a few weeks. Opportunities lie on the neighborhoods.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Businesses are adapting and realize that virtual meetings are more efficient and a new era in business communications is under way. The travel industry will have to restructure, as will commercial office space businesses.

Actually, no.

Home office, telework, may be fine for some, may be doable in some large house in North America with multiple spare rooms.

But at this point most Japanese I know have had enough, this includes my 2 adult children and my wife.

I have worked from home for years as a artisan/Craftsman with my atelier.

But we do not have spare rooms.

24/7 Living, working, sleeping in the bedroom is basically what my wife and children are now doing.

There is no separation between work/office and home.

I can leave my atelier closed the door and now I am home off work.

Well I used to be able to. Now I cannot go relax in my own room as it is now my wife's office.

3 people zoom meetings, constantly trying to not walk in on them.

My friends have it worse as one spouse takes the kitchen table the other the bedroom, those with Children have more problems as the children finish school before they finish work.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

Well, things do happen in life we cannot control.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Businesses literally go bust every day - even during normal non COVID times - due to circumstances the owners didn’t foresee or plan for.

Complaining that your business has lost a lot of money because of the Olympic fiasco - which you thought was a dead cert - is like me ploughing all my money into Bitcoin only for it to suddenly tank, or betting on the horse or the athlete that’s never lost.

There are risks with everything. Sure, any businesses losing out on Olympic investments have been somewhat unlucky, but no more so than businesses that are decimated by sudden changing market conditions, or changes to laws and government policy or law etc.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I feel bad for all the businesses who dipped deeply into their life savings to provide rooms and events and foods and other things that Olympic visitors would enjoy. No that money was gone last year and they have bills or loans to pay without the big payday expected.

There is supposed to be a World Series diving competition in Tokyo for 3 days in mid-April where the athletes around the world come to Japan. Guess that's off? FINA is still showing it as scheduled.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There will be a great surge in national and international traveling after Covid-19. Good days will be coming for those who can manage and survive this hardship.

A high percentage of tourists from abroad pre-Covid19 were from China. The Olympics would have brought in a lot more tourists from various countries. If people are willing to accept Chinese tourists with open arms again, they may survive. Not a lot of people are wild about letting Chinese back in.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

This is business. Bad things happen every day to businesses of all shapes and sizes all over the world. Did this business owner really believe that olympic tourism would bring in 18million+ yen in revenue? Seems a little over optimistic. Not her fault though I guess, JGov was spinning the olympics as the end to 30 years of recession.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Ms Ishii spent ¥18 million renovating her inn for a 3 week event? What nonsense. Just like all the hotel building in Tokyo "for the Olympics". The hotel boom is (was) for the tourists from China and other Asian countries. Nothing to do with any sports events.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Bu

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pathetic. We have known for nearly a year the Olympics have to be canceled and moved to 2024. Its like people who promote eating Fukushima food, and then complain because people don’t wanna eat toxic food.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Yes. business involves risk, but from reading the comments compassion is a commodity many posters lack.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Ms Ishii spent ¥18 million renovating her inn for a 3 week event? What nonsense. Just like all the hotel building in Tokyo "for the Olympics". The hotel boom is (was) for the tourists from China and other Asian countries. Nothing to do with any sports events.

Exactly! Let’s face it that Japan tourism industry ( hotels, inns, bars, restaurants, shopping malls especially for clothes, shoes and designer bags as well as transportation companies ) rely heavily on the Chinese tourist! Without Chinese tourist these industries are bound to face hardship! International events only bring tourist for 2-4weeks but the Chinese tourist used to arrive all year round! More than half the number of tourist entering Japan has always been from China until the borders closed. South Korea made up the other 25% followed by Taiwan!

https://www.statista.com/statistics/654312/japan-foreign-visitors-breakdown-by-country/

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Ortega, inditex ceo, said ' don't tell me how to make money now, tell me how to make money in 5 years'. If this woman plowed a huge investment on the hopes of a huge return quickly then she is a fool. I own a business that has been in operation for 11 years and employs 13 staff. There is no way I would pour that kind of money into it if I didn't think it would yield a sustainable long term return. If I did,l, it would be no more than a get rich quick fantasy

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The lack of influx of Olympic foreign fans will hit all those who have invested millions in their businesses but will mostly fall flat. Those that learn to adapt quickly will also find a way to survive. Increased stress levels and these businesses letting employees go.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's called "to stake everything on one card". It's harsh, but that's how it is in here. There are never backup plans here, no other options in case something goes down the wrong way. Just simulations, dry-runs according to the scheme

"I am guessing foreign visitors won't be allowed until at least September. You have to look ahead and plan ahead to run a business," said Ishii. "If you react emotionally at every turn of events, then you cannot sustain yourself."

Well, wrong. Correct, you cannot react emotionally. You have to think rationally, think of possible options. Not only that everything will run smoothly and according to your plan and dreams.

She's dependent on public loans to stay afloat, and her hopes for the future are tempered by anxiety about her finances and whether tourism will recover.

Ah, yes. That's typical in here. Very little to none financial literacy here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

this country dont need olympics this year-at very first.

why we have to save someones fat profits from taxpayers money?what for these olympics are needed when visitors from foreign countries cant come and attend?what is real weird idea about?

why many people like that fooled woman on photo have to bankrupt as they have "believed" in tokyo olympics "idea"?

well its business risk for her at the end...just to be frank,shoganai...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

*"I was thinking, 'Next year with the Olympics, everything is going to be going up and up,'" she told AFP. *"Now all of a sudden everything has evaporated."

Or as old Karl eloquently stated: All that is solid melts into air, all that is sacred is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind while Robbie Burns with his Scottish bluntness wrote: “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.”, and to which the French with their Gallic sang-froid might opine, "C'est la vie!" We all have to be philosophical about life in order to weather the vicissitudes that try men's souls as much as deplete our pocketbooks. We can only take comfort and instruction from the world's plethora of proverbs that advise and encourage us not to give up, but try, try again. Ganbatte!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Since it’s been done for politics, hope this woman and others remember this come election time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A decision on whether to limit domestic fans has not yet been made

Really? That's not what JT has been reporting for the last wek or so. I thought there were no foreign fans coming?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You are confusing foreign fans with the number of domestic fans which will be allowed at venues.

Some people should show some more compassion. Yes they spent money and updated/upgraded their business. They didn't do it only for the Olympics and expect to recoup the investment in a few weeks but it would have helped to speed up the return on investments. People who say every business should adapt or sink don't know how cutthroat some businesses are especially the service business. Throw in that many business owners are in their 50s or 60s, they can not adapt to changes as quickly as people in their 20s and 30s.

Compassion people compassion. Some day it might happen to you

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Compassion I do have for the honest business owners who have been negatively affected by this whole debacle. But those businesses who were more than happy to engage in obscene price gouging before COVID, not so much. Lots of schadenfreude for those who had raised their room prices six fold or more for the Games and are now screwed.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

My AirBnB is finished. I was relying on the Olympics as my other business has also finished.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

GoodlucktoyouToday 10:45 am JST

My AirBnB is finished. I was relying on the Olympics as my other business has also finished. But I would rather close my business than have foreigners who may be infected stay here and infect my community.

So Japanese do not contract COVID? And only foreigners are infected? Nice way to reinforce the Japanese stereotype. You invested in one event and lost. As a poster said up top, no back up plan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Everything evaporated" Yep Thanos (IOC with JOC) snapped his fingers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why not claim damages from the country that perhaps caused the wide spread. Its really quite easy to just basically sulk and blame any one who gets in the way. But I see no effort, internationally as well, to demand and extract damages .... from you-know-who.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Of course there are risks in business but nobody could have seen this coming. It is my considered opinion that the majority of posters on here are exceptionally dim and unpleasant people.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

So a journalist interviewed this businesswoman and asked about the Olympics but didn't ask about the effect on her business of the border being closed to international tourists for almost a full year so far? What a grossly misleading lack of perspective.

fwiw, I think the economic effect of the pandemic on people has been badly under-reported. It is especially vexing for the little reporting there is to focus only on the Olympics as if it is the only thing that could possibly matter.

But the boost from Olympic visitors is often overestimated, analysts say. Their spending would probably have totaled 95 billion yen, equivalent to 0.02 percent of Japan's GDP, research firm Capital Economics said in a November estimate.

0.02%!! Let widespread recognition of this number be the legacy of the Games. I almost want to put it on a t-shirt.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Of course there are risks in business but nobody could have seen this coming. It is my considered opinion that the majority of posters on here are exceptionally dim and unpleasant people.

Absolutely!

And the part about risks in business, too!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I feel sorry for all the businesses that are suffering financial difficulties due to COVID!!! The government's promises of "safe Olympics for everyone" that fell flat, puled some even deeper in to debt... It would have been better for everyone to have Olympics canceled once Pandemic started...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sad, sad, sad, very sad indeed.

More adverse side effects of banning foreign visitors to Olympic Games would gradually surface and unfold one by one. Tourism and its related industries would of course get the hit first..

Most unfortunate..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Related to, but not in direct regards to the Olympics, I'd say I've seen a lot of over reliance and dependence upon inbound tourists (Chinese and Korean especially) on part of many business operators.

Putting "all one's eggs in one basket" comes to mind.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I still would like to know how can a foreign visitor who:

A) Must take the 72 hours preflight COVID test

B) Must take another COVID test at the airport

C) Has to quarantine for two weeks

D) Must install the tracing app

can possibly infect anyone, if nothing else is the other way around.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Foreign tourism in Japan has flat-lined for nearly one year. it won't be returning this year or the next one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The figure cited for 2019, cites a dizzying increase in visitors, claiming it was due to the Rugby Tournament. Which is hyperbole at best, more an error of fact and totally neglects that the increase from 2018 was minimal. 2018, there were: 31.1 million tourists. 2019, there were: 31.9. A growth rate of 2.2 %. Hardly a dizzying increase. Nor does it indicate the exact or even approximate numbers of tourists due to the Rugby Tournament. The most dizzying increase was in 2015: 47.1%.

Though Ishii spent 18 million yen ( 150,00 USD) a sizeable sum for an independent business, the Japanese taxpayers will spend upwards of $18,000,000,000, with no offset excepting $800, million in potential ticket sales. A piss-poor investment on the behalf of the organizers.

As for ticket sales. 70% of tickets are earmarked for domestic consumption. That is approximately 600 million dollars of the $800 million total expected sales. The 30% will easily be marketed within Japan, as many were denied tickets thru the lottery system - which may be moot if social distancing is required.

The Olympics are a very short term event. Less than 3 weeks. During the height of summer, when temperatures and humidity are near unbearable. A short term boost at most and questionable as 'economic planning' to improve the economy. Especially, considering the total investment, which will never be recovered.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

pepelepew

A) Must take the 72 hours preflight COVID test

B) Must take another COVID test at the airport

Actually, if coming back from a designated country where the variant is spreading (basically all Europe, Brazil and South Africa), there is a test on arrival and a pcr test 3 days after arrival at the end of a mandatory 3 days stay in a designated hotel.

The risk of spreading is zero. Unless if for some reason, the tests are unable to detect the virus and people break the quarantine. But this case is actually the extreme, so basically the risk is zero.

One point is that for the Olympics, it was some rumors about not having to do the quarantine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Actually, no.

Home office, telework, may be fine for some, may be doable in some large house in North America with multiple spare rooms.But at this point most Japanese I know have had enough,

Yes, I think the same.

I think that telework and online meetings will finish shortly after with the pandemic, for two main reasons:

1) Japan's work system is deeply based on “presence”, still too many managers/chiefs/supervisors prefer to see their workers at their desks in the office and to control them directly.

2) And yes, also considering the average space of houses, especially in Tokyo, where the whole house is often the size of a single room in the USA/Europe, it is difficult to make the telework as a standard in the Japanese working system.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

People make money: "I worked hard. I deserve this!"

People lose money: "yOu OwE mE!!!"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

flood of tourists??? you bet you lose.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The thought of getting your entire 18M investment back in three weeks ...

There is something wrong with this article.

If the lady is not torn apart by bank scavengers, her investment may be recouped in 10 years or so.

Under the condition that Japan re-allows entry into the country for all tourists, may they be Chinese or Martians...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There will be a great surge in national and international traveling after Covid-19.

That's the thing, though. When exactly is this "after Covid-19"? It's been 100+ years from the influenza pandemic in 1918, and guess what - influenza is still here and very prominent. I wouldn't hold my breath that this state of affairs is ending anytime soon.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's been 100+ years from the influenza pandemic in 1918, and guess what - influenza is still here and very prominent.

No no and no. Please no not make these mistakes.

The 1918 influenza has nothing to do with the influenza if today.

Today's influenza have totally different origins .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Prior to covid About half my business was foreign tourists buying Japanese antiques, that dried up almost overnight last year.

The majority of the rest was repair and restoration of Japanese antiques and artworks, that also dried up as people understandably are reluctant to go to places in close contact for non essential things and worries over their own job and financial stability.

Internet sales are a tiny drop because as one would expect not actually being able to verify what one is buying one must be willing to take the seller's word on the authenticity of the item add to that for a long time EMS delivery for many destinations were stopped and few if any are willing to wait 3 to 4 months for their purchase to arrive. Well it is a simple calculation that business is near zero.

The local Ramen shop that had been there for 20 plus years closed even with an increase in delivery it was not enough to pay the rent, the same for nearly half the businesses on our shotengai.

I got bad and good luck, we purchased our home just before the pandemic and the plan was to have my atelier and store on the first floor.

I invested a good amount renovating only to not open, the good part is we only have the mortgage and no longer have home rent and store/atelier rent so our expenses are much lower, otherwise we would now be in far worse situation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"The local Ramen shop that had been there for 20 plus years closed even with an increase in delivery it was not enough to pay the rent...?

I am curious. What are the landlords doing then ? Are the closed businesses just boarded up ? Are any new businesses taking their place ? I would like to hear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The 1918 influenza has nothing to do with the influenza if today.

Today's influenza have totally different origins .

Their "origins" are irrelevant, they're different strains of the same virus. The 1918 influenza pandemic was H1N1, the 2009 influenza pandemic was a variant of H1N1 designated H1N1pdm09. And despite your claims that they have "nothing to do with each other", a third of people over 60 had antibodies against the new strain in 2009 because they were exposed to other variants of H1N1 earlier in their life.

Much like there are already multiple different strains of Covid-19, and many more will pop up over time. What next, are you going to claim these new variants magically aren't Covid-19 and should be ignored because they have slight genetic differences and therefore aren't the original strain?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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