Unaffected destinations drawn into Japan’s mounting nuclear crisis

THE THREAT of an impending nuclear disaster has resulted in tourists giving Japan a wide berth, well beyond the devastated north-eastern coast.

Avi Lugasi, managing director of Kyoto-based agency Windows To Japan, told TTG Asia e-Daily there had been cancellations of all trips bound for Japan during spring.

“(The spring season) is 80 per cent of our yearly income, so this is definitely a hard time for us,” he said.

Kyoto Convention Bureau international marketing coordinator James Kent said cancellations to Tokyo inevitably led to a similar situation in Kyoto, as most of its business comes via Tokyo.

Hotels in Kyoto city, however, were still holding up, he added. “Many people are making precautionary evacuations from areas close to Fukushima (where the nuclear plant is). Kyoto is seen as a safe destination and hotels are seeing that in their bookings.”

Hotels.com managing director and vice president for Asia Johan Svanstrom noted that the crisis had created “a nervousness about making new bookings”, with places not affected by the natural disasters suffering.

Singapore-based Nam Ho Travel Service manager Lucy Lai said: “Demand for even Taiwan and Hong Kong has been affected, as Singaporeans are worried that radiation from Japan will contaminate these destinations.”

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