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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Japan Converting Office Buildings To Meet Rising Hotel Demand

Above, a view of Tokyo from Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

With the dramatic rise in foreign tourism in Japan, the hotel industry has been in a losing struggle to keep pace with the demand for more accommodations.

Fortunately, there are some creative minds in Japan and they found a way to increase the supply of hotel rooms.

According to Reuters:
Record tourists to Japan are stretching the ability of hotels to accommodate them in a sector constrained by high costs, forcing developers to think out of the box for means to quickly increase lodging options without breaking the bank.  
Japan is on target this year to beat the record 13.4 million visitors in 2014, helped by a weak yen and easier visa requirements for some Asian countries. The government is aiming to attract 20 million visitors by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympics, to revitalize the world's third-biggest economy. 
The rising influx of tourists is already squeezing existing accommodation supply in Tokyo, which has about 100,000 hotel rooms. Just 7,600 rooms are scheduled to be added in the next three years, according to STR Global, a research firm for the hotel industry.  
The slow pace of growth is due to rising land prices and construction costs. One quick solution: convert old office buildings into hotels with tiny but stylish rooms that can rent for under $30 a night, less than half the rate for a cheap business hotel.
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