A new crop of high-end accommodation options in Japan is changing the country’s image as a limited luxury destination, providing a boost to inbound tourism players.
High-profile luxury openings this year include Hoshinoya Tokyo, Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho and Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto. A JW Marriot Hotel is planned for Nara City and a luxury hotel is expected in rural Gifu Prefecture, both by 2020.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Ashley Harvey, manager at inbound tour operator Walk Japan, sees “potential" for luxury travel to boom in Japan, especially as upscale accommodation options are no longer confined to just major cities in the country. “The regional luxury market has very recently started to grow.”
To tap the rising luxury sector, Walk Japan will in 2017 expand its programme offerings sixfold and strengthen its partnership with Road Scholar, which offers educational trips for the high-end market.
Mark Wong, vice president Asia Pacific, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, added that the growing English-language support via transport signs and service staff would increase agents’ ability to sell Japan to the luxury market.
“The traveller can now explore parts of local Japan on their own, many of which are still unexplored by the foreign eye,” he said.