Foreign tourists now make up 40% of hotel guests in Kyoto

A survey of 36 leading hotels in Kyoto has found that the percentage of foreign guests has exceeded 40% for the first time since reporting began in 2014. According to the Kyoto City Tourism Association, the share of foreign guests in 2017 was 40.5%, up 3.2 points from 2016. The busiest season for foreign tourists was April, with a share of 50.9%, up 5.3 points from the previous year.

The hotels reported an occupancy ratio of 88.8%, down 0.1 points from 2016. January, which is typically the worst month for tourism, had an occupancy ratio of 75.7%, up 4.3 points from 2016.

Japan’s first Hilton Curio Collection hotel to open in Karuizawa

Tokyu Land Corporation has entered into a franchise agreement with Hilton Hotels & Resorts to open Japan’s first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in Karuizawa.

KYUKARUIZAWA KIKYO, Curio Collection by Hilton is the rebrand of the former Kyu-Karuizawa Hotel that was acquired by Tokyu in March 2017. It is scheduled to re-open in spring of 2018. The 39-year old hotel sits on a 5,800 sqm site located 1.2km north of Karuizawa Station. Almost 90% of the 50 rooms are over 40 sqm (430 sq ft) in size.

Construction starts on Aoyama Bell Commons redevelopment

Construction has started on a 20-storey commercial building on the site of the former Aoyama Bell Commons building in the Omotesando / Gaienmae area in Tokyo. Completion is due by April 2020.

The 90m tall Kita Aoyama 2 Chome Project will include retail on the first two floors, a hotel on floors 3, 4 and floors 16 through 20, and office and co-working space on floors 5 through 15. The total floor area will be 22,910 sqm, approximatley 50% larger than Aoyama Bell Commons, while the new building will be almost twice as tall.

NTT to develop luxe hotels with fine-dining restauranteur

Hiramatsu

NTT Urban Development, the real estate development arm of the NTT communications group, is jointly developing several high-end hotels with restaurant and wedding planning company Hiramatsu.

Hiramatsu is known for their French and Italian restaurants, wedding planning, catering and wine businesses. In May 2015, they announced their foray into the hotel industry with the establishment of Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts.

Meanwhile, NTT Urban Development has decided to pursue the development of hotels and resorts to cater to the explosive growth in the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan. On October 1, 2015, they established a hotel and resort division in their commercial department.

China’s Wanda Group to develop luxury hotel in Tokyo

According to an article in Business Journal, Chinese property developer and cinema chain operator, Dalian Wanda Group, plan to develop a mixed-use hotel and cinema complex in Tokyo.  This will be the first project in Japan to be developed by a major mainland Chinese property developer.

It is hoped that the hotel will be open in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The group has developed 109 large-scale shopping malls and 71 hotels (including 69 five-star hotels) across China. In early 2014, the group acquired a 90% stake in plans for a mixed-use condo, hotel and commercial project in Chicago. Construction of the $900 million project is scheduled to start in 2016. There are also plans for Wanda Hotels in London and Madrid.

Eviction orders for Gamagori hotel

The Toyohashi branch of the Nagoya District Court has issued an eviction order to the religious organization that is using the former Gamagori Fukinuki Sightseeing Hotel in Miyacho, Gamagori City. The court is ordering the land to be returned to its owner (Miyacho) and the building to be demolished.

The original hotel opened in 1939 and has undergone many alterations and extensions over the years. During its prime, the hotel was Miyacho’s leading hot spring resort. However, in 1998 the hotel filed for bankruptcy with debts over 3 billion Yen. It was later put up for public auction with a minimum bid of 956 million Yen. A buddhist organization purchased the building, but not the land, from Miyacho in 2004 and were charged an annual land rent of 3.8 million Yen. They demolished several buildings and refurbished the main hotel which had previously been damaged by fire.