IRs could transform Japan’s hotel industry

The establishment of an IR in a major urban city such as Yokohama could spark a profound transformation of Japan’s hotel industry, according to a key observer of the market.

Minoru Murakami, senior managing director of the hotel industry focused Ohta Publications, tells Asia Gaming Brief in an exclusive interview that an urban IR is likely to produce something which simply doesn’t exist in today’s Japan—truly world class luxury hotels.

“The average daily rate of Japan’s current top hotels, after discounts, is about US$450,” Murakami observes, “but if you look at the global market—Paris, London, New York, the capital cities of the world—US$1,000 or $2,000 hotel rates are not so unusual. They have ten or twenty hotels like that. In Japan there are none.”

Murakami reckons that the establishment of an IR is precisely what will spur the development of the first of these highest class hotels in Japan.

He also states that Japan’s domestic hotel industry is taking notice, with top companies like Okura, the Imperial Hotel, New Otani, and Royal Park interested in partnership opportunities as the nation’s IR development moves forward.