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Wednesday, 18th February 2015
In General Japan News,

Investors snap up Japanese hotels

Japanese hotels are being purchased at the highest rate since the global financial crisis, with investors keen to take advantage of a recent boom in the nation's tourism industry.

Foreign arrivals peaked at over 13 million in 2014 as prime minister Shinzo Abe introduced policies to improve the tourism industry in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games, and investors are finding themselves tempted by the promise of high returns and strong growth prospects.

According to Real Capital Analyics, investment in Japanese hotels by value last year rose to 297 billion yen, the highest since 2007. While the organisation pointed out the figure is still less than half the total seen in 2007, it did say that it is around nine times the post-crisis low of 32.3 billion yen that was recorded in 2009.

Recent deals include a sale of Japanese hotel operator Oedo-Onsen Holdings, which runs 29 hotels and bathhouses throughout the country, to US private equity firm Bain Capital LLC. Analysts put the value of the deal at 50 billion yen.

Effective tourism campaigns from the National Tourism Board have been credited as one of the reasons visitor figures are on the up, as well as the government's economic policy which has seen a reduction in the value against the yen.

This has made travel to Japan cheaper and encouraged visitors particularly from nearby neighbours in Asia, such as China and Thailand. Relaxed visa restrictions have also been acknowledged as a factor.

The government is hoping to welcome 20 million visitors a year by 2020, a goal that will undoubtedly be made easier to achieve by the fact that Tokyo will host the Olympics that year.