The popular ski resort of Niseko in Hokkaido has joined the ranks of districts with accommodation taxes. Kutchan Town introduced the tax on November 1. It will apply to all types of accommodation providers, including hotels and minpaku-style operators.
The tax rate will be 2% of the nightly room rate, making this the first percentage-based accommodation tax in Japan. Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Kanazawa each have fixed accommodation taxes ranging from 100 ~ 1,000 Yen depending on the room charge.
It is expected that this could bring in as much as 300 million Yen in annual tax revenue for the town. The funds will go towards improving the town’s tourist infrastructure to cater to the growing number of foreign visitors.
Kutchan has approximately 530 accommodation facilities. In 2018, the town welcomed 460,000 overnight guests, a third of which were foreign tourists. During the ski season, some of Niseko’s hotels report as many as 95% of guests are foreigners.
Source: Kyodo News, November 1, 2019.
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