Last December, the average room rate for a hotel in Japan was 21,102 Yen, up 8.2% from November and the first time in the 2000s that it has exceeded 20,000 Yen, according to industry tracker STR. The nationwide average is being pulled up by hotels in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Hokkaido, as inbound visitors show a remarkable return.

Inbound tourist numbers for December reached 2.734 million, up 12% from the previous month and the highest monthly total seen all year. This figure was also 8.2% above the total seen in December 2019, before the pandemic began.

Visitors from South Korea topped the rankings with 782,700 visitors in December, followed by tourists from Taiwan (399,500) and mainland China (312,400). Visitors from mainland China in December were 56% below their 2019 level, and total visitors for the year were 75% below the level seen in 2019.

The cheap Yen is also propping up hotel prices, as it hits a near-33 year low against the US dollar. Many hotel prices are converted into foreign currencies for overseas travelers, making accommodation costs in Japan appear relatively cheap.

Meanwhile, the average occupancy level dropped by 6.3 points to 73.4%.

Source: The Nikkei Shimbun, January 30, 2024.