Number of registered short-term accommodations drop for first time

The number of registered ‘minpaku’ short-term accommodation providers has dropped for the first time since the new system was introduced in June 2018. According to the Japan Tourism Agency there were a total of 21,176 registered properties across Japan as of May 11, down from 21,385 just one month earlier.

Minpaku rentals, many of which use online platforms such as Airbnb, had seen exponential growth over the past two years and were popular with budget-conscious foreign tourists. Private hosts were often subletting or even buying properties to convert into Airbnb-style rentals. Many are now looking to exit the market quickly.

Over the past month there were 629 properties de-registered and 420 new registrations. Up until this month, there had been a consecutive month-on-month net increase for the past 22 months. 

With the entry ban on foreign arrivals extended throughout the month of June, the accommodation industry, particularly the sector that relies on foreign tourists, will continue to be hit hard in the coming months. Conditions are not likely to improve as the entry ban on foreign tourists is likely to continue for several months. 

Sources:
Japan Tourism Agency, May 20, 2020.
Jiji Press, May 20, 2020.

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