JAPAN is the fastest growing market in the world for Airbnb, but operators of hotels and inns there said they are not concerned about the inroads made by the online home rental marketplace.
The number of people using Airbnb’s service in Japan soared 529 per cent, while listings of properties have increased 373 per cent to 21,000 in 2015 compared to the year before.
But 2015 also saw an influx of 19.7 million foreign visitors, up 47 per cent on the previous year, thus worsening the existing shortage of accommodations, particularly in the most popular destinations of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.
“Japan is seeing an increase in number of tourists and there are not enough hotel rooms, especially during the busy Golden Week and Obon seasons,” said Nana Nakajima, head of sales and marketing, Mystays Hotel Management.
“We don’t see Airbnb as much of a threat to what we do at the moment, although there is concern about what will happen after the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, if visitor numbers will drop off dramatically.”
Takashi Hasegawa, owner of Yagyu-no-Sho ryokan in Shizuoka prefecture, similarly played down the competition that Airbnb poses. “We offer something that is completely different to their service,” he said.