Stormy year ahead for Japan's tourism industry as Olympics put off
By Junko Horiuchi and Takuya Okamoto, KYODO NEWS - Mar 26, 2020 - 12:41 | Sports, News, All, Japan, Coronavirus
Now that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are postponed until next year, concerns are growing about whether small and midsize businesses in the tourism and service industries can weather the coronavirus shockwave until the events are held next year, economists and analysts say.
With tourist traffic drying up and domestic consumption severely hit by social distancing, tour operators, hotels and eateries were expecting the Summer Games to bring an inbound tourism recovery, before Tokyo and the International Olympic Committee agreed Tuesday on the one-year delay.
The postponement will likely wipe out demand expected from an estimated 9 million domestic and 300,000 foreign spectators coming to the capital.
Goldman Sachs has estimated that the sports events will result in inbound-related consumption of 150 billion yen ($1.3 billion) by foreign travelers and domestic spending of 400 billion yen, including purchases of merchandise and traveling to Tokyo and other hosting municipalities.
In its presentation, the Japanese bidding committee for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics had said it secured 46,000 rooms for organizers, sports governing bodies, media and sponsors during the tournament. All these reservations for this summer could be canceled.
"We're relieved the Tokyo Olympics are not canceled, but we're still concerned about the outlook of the industry through next summer," said Shigemi Sudo, the secretary general of the Tokyo Hotels and Ryokans Association.
Already hit hard by the coronavirus chaos, the hotel industry body ...
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