New subsidy for foreigner-friendly hotels in Japan

Tokyo, Dec 1 (IANS) The Japanese government is planning to offer an incentive to hotels and inns for upgrading their facilities to meet the needs of foreign tourists, the media reported on Tuesday.

A subsidy to cover part of the improvement costs is aimed at expanding the amount of accommodation available to a growing number of foreign tourists, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The number of foreign travellers to Japan has been surging, helped in part by the weak yen. A record high of 19-million are expected by the end of this year.

The government’s challenge is to make lodging facilities and Japanese-style inns with low occupancy rates more attractive to non-Japanese visitors.

According to the plan, about half the cost of installing equipment for wireless internet access, Western-style toilets and signboards in multiple languages.

The government believes that spending by foreign travellers on overnight stays and shopping have become indispensable for Japan’s economy.

The funds are to be incorporated into this year’s supplementary budget.

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