Japan turns to home-sharing as arrivals soar

Supply-crunch cities encourage non-hotel alternatives
Local governments in Japan are encouraging the use of non-hotel accommodation as arrivals soar and ahead of major world sports events.
The number of foreign arrivals is on course to hit a record high of 24 million before the end of the year, as low-cost carriers and cruise ships experience the biggest growth. Arrivals between January and October were up 23.3% over the same period last year.
The government had set a target of 20 million visitors by 2020 but has been forced to radically revise its targets thanks to the growth of budget airlines, cruise visits and easier visa requirements.
The new target is 40 million foreign arrivals in 2020, the year Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The country is also preparing to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Following the proposed deregulation of short-term rentals including Airbnb earlier this year, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia recently signed an MoU with Takenori Noda, mayor of Kamaishi, to facilitate the hosting process for homeowners there.
As host city for the rugby mega-event, Kamaishi is expected to welcome 30,000 visitors during the tournament. Its hotels and ryokan can accommodate just 1,000 guests.
Meanwhile, the Osaka municipal government is hoping for “many more” applications from the public to be registered as minpaku (home-lodging) providers.
TTG Asia