Following the recent announcement that Japanese hoteliers will be granted planning permission to extend floor space by up to 50% per unit, it appears as though decision makers there are comfortable taking significant steps to achieve Japan’s aggressive tourism target.
While Japanese real estate prices fell marginally in 2015, the country still commands a premium for the pleasure of owning ones home with intergenerational mortgages not uncommon. The real estate market is competitive with little planning available.
With space at a premium in cities like Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka the announcement to grant increased planning permission has come as surprise to many.
Setting aggressive tourism targets
As part of the national tourism strategy, the Japanese government set an ambitious target of drawing 20 million inbound tourists annually by 2020. Having reached this goal four years ahead of schedule, a special panel chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, announced earlier this year that this goal was to be doubled to 40million visitors bringing with them an international spend of ¥8 trillion – and still by the year 2020.
This strategy includes increasing promotional efforts to attract more tourists from Europe, the USA and Australia. The country’s immigration process is also under scrutiny suggesting the introduction of advanced technology to circumvent delays in airports.
While the strategy has been fairly questioned with many commenting that an anticipated hotel room shortage of up to 41,000 rooms coupled with the language and currency barriers could impact metrics of success, it is clear that the government’s plan is having a positive impact with numbers of international visitors for the first quarter of 2016 at an all-time high.
Catering to the increased number of visitors
Critical to catering for the expected increase in international visitors, Japan is offering transparent and convenient payment options. Irish based Financial Technology Company – Fexco is the market leader in Japan already providing their world class Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) solution through partners in the local market. Pioneered by Fexco, DCC allows international cardholders to make payments in their home currency enabling them to better determine value on a transaction in a currency they are familiar with.
This type of added value for the international visitor is especially important in a market where language barriers could impact the comfort of the consumer to make a purchase. Fexco’s DCC is also beneficial to the merchant offering them an additional revenue opportunity while simultaneously providing enhanced customer service.
It is integral that merchants and banks are positioned to best serve these growing numbers of international visitors, maximising revenue through excellent customer service.
If you’d like more information on how DCC can benefit your business, contact us today and ask about our suite of Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) products.