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Japan converts offices to hotels as tourism surges

Japan has emerged as an attractive tourist destination. The weaker yen and hassle-free visa application from some countries continue to drive tourism. The country is even on track to surpass its record of 13.4 million tourist arrivals in 2014 this year. Japan aspires to attract 20 million visitors by 2020 as Tokyo plays Olympics host.

The rising tourist influx has become a cause for concern due to a hotel crunch. Japan’s answer to this is the conversion of office buildings into hotels to save high construction costs.

For instance, B-lot – a 28-year-old office building in Tokyo – has been converted to a hotel called First Cabin. Here a “business-class cabin” with a single bed costs about USD46. The idea is still in its infancy, but the potential lies in major cities where hotel demand is strong. This is evident, as the lowest-ranked business rooms in Tokyo have seen a rise of 11.7% in cost since 2014.

Will conversion of offices into hotel rooms help achieve Japan’s 2020 tourism vision?

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