Kyoto’s hotels see conditions improve for fourth month

According to the Kyoto City Tourism Association, hotel occupancy rates are slowly on the rise as the historic former capital recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Conditions have improved for the past four months, and Japanese guest numbers are close to 80% of what they were pre-pandemic.

The Association’s latest data for the month of September surveyed 64 hotels with 14,921 rooms, covering approximately 40% of the city’s hotels. 

Hotel stays by Japanese tourists were down 23.9% from September 2019, but this is an improvement from the 48.2% decline seen in August. In May, when the State of Emergency was in effect, hotel stays had dropped 94.7% from the previous year. 

Part of the recent success is due to the national government’s Go To Travel campaign, providing subsidised domestic travel. A four-day weekend in late September also saw a boost in domestic travel. From October 1 onwards, Tokyo residents were also eligible for the travel discounts, which may be reflected in October’s data.

With international tourists effectively banned from entering Japan, there were just 821 foreign hotel guests in Kyoto city in September, down 99.7% from last year. This is the 6th month in a row to see numbers close to zero. Please note that foreign residents in Japan are included in these numbers. 

Hotel operating ratios for the month were down 49.9 points from last year to 33%. This is a 10 point increase from August which had a ratio of 22.8%. Six of the hotels surveyed were still closed for the month of September. 

The revenue per available room (RevPAR) was down 57.8% from last year. The average daily rate (ADR) was up 1.4%.

The next peak travel period will be the 3-day weekend coming up later this month which coincides with Autumn leaf viewing. Once that has passed, hotel rates are expected to drop again during the colder winter months. 

Kyoto City Tourism Association, October 29, 2020.
The Mainichi Shimbun, November 5, 2020.

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