Japan hotel room rates near pre-2008 level

Japan hotel room rates near pre-2008 level

TOKYO - The average price for a night at a well-known Japanese hotel is rising as a growing number of foreign tourists pushes up occupancy rates and gives hotel operators the confidence to hold off on discounts.

According to UK market research specialist STR Global, the average room rate at 600 hotels in Japan in 2014 rose 8.2 per cent from a year earlier, nearly reaching where it was before the global financial crisis caused the bottom to fall out of the hotel market.

In the heart of the capital, the average rate at Imperial Hotel Tokyo in 2014 climbed 8.9 per cent, topping 30,000 yen (S$342) for the first time since 2008. Prices at Hotel Okura Tokyo also climbed more than 8 per cent.

An official at Hotel Nikko Tokyo said, "We are offering discounts for tour groups less frequently than before" because the number of wealthy individual travelers is increasing. Japan now draws around 13 million overseas visitors a year. "We have been raising prices since around the summer," said an official at Hotel New Otani Tokyo.

Renovations ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games are also pushing up room prices. Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, which will spend 2 billion yen refurbishing its guest rooms in 2013-2015, plans to raise its rates by about 3,000 yen a night after the work is completed.

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