Japan was struggling to come out of the recessionary pressures created by the economic downturn when it was hit by a major earth quake and tsunami on March 11. It made their struggle that much more difficult. The hospitality industry and particularly the luxury segment was hit the hardest and the 5 star hotels there are finding it really difficult to fill up luxury hotel rooms. People who have been planning to visit Japan should do it now as all the 5 star hotels in Tokyo are 50% cheaper now than their regular rates.
Peter Yoshihara, the senior marketing manager for travel reservations site hotels.com in Japan explained that the occupancy levels have remained low since the earth quake. Even after three months of the disaster there are no signs of recovery. The 5 star hotels have tried everything to fill up their rooms with little success and are still offering big discounts. Tokyo is normally more expensive than most of the major cities but if you check the hotels.com for room rates in Tokyo you will realize that the 5 star hotels are offering bargain basement prices.
Hotel Okura in Tokyo is available for $242 for week nights in July, down from $403; the regal Imperial Hotel is $290, down from $341; the Conrad Tokyo is $370 a night, down from $493; and the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi is going for $422, down from $562. The arrival of Asian travelers in Japan has seen a marginal increase but the Americans and Europeans are keeping away still. Hotels.com has been growing with the e-bookings for hotels on the increase in Japan. However it is a new trend here as only about 20 to 30% bookings are done online as opposed to 60% done in the US and Europe.