Coronavirus crisis threatens to silence Japan’s tourist boom

first_imgJust months ahead of the 2020 Olympics, the jolt to tourism may presage a broader economic impact from the coronavirus for both Japan and the global economy. Japan could be at particular risk because of its increased reliance on Chinese tourism under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policies.Nomura Securities had forecast a 240 billion yen (US$2.3 billion) bump from event-related tourism in 2020, which it said would evaporate if the Olympics were cancelled, although organizers have said delaying or moving the games is not an option. Last year, Japan hosted 31.9 million foreign visitors, who spent 4.81 trillion yen.The flu-like virus SARS-CoV-2 has spread to about 80 countries after emerging in central China late last year and has hurt global tourism, air travel and events. About 98,000 people have been infected and 3,300 killed worldwide.Although most cases are in China, more new infections are appearing outside that country. There are no official tourism figures from February yet, but some analysts – and anecdotal evidence from people in the tourism industry – suggest that arrivals from Asia alone are likely to be down by at least half.”You’ve got that negativity that is going to percolate through the system,” said Jesper Koll, a senior adviser at WisdomTree Investments.The hit to economic growth from slowing inbound tourism could be a quarter of a percentage point or more, he said.’Explosive shopping’For Japan, which has seen more than 1,000 confirmed infections, 2020 was supposed to be a record year for foreign arrivals and a boon for an economy already on the brink of recession.About 9.5 million of Japan’s foreign visitors last year were Chinese, a number that has risen more than six-fold over the past seven years.And Chinese visitors spend more than others, accounting for 30% of tourists but 37% of tourist spending last year, according to Japan Tourism Agency data.At a shop near Watanabe’s restaurant, the shelves were lined with rice cookers, sake cups and beauty products such as lipstick usually popular with Chinese tourists, who are known for their “bakugai” or “explosive shopping” sprees.But there were few customers. Shop workers chatted with each other in the nearly empty store.On Wednesday, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the outbreak has hurt consumption through a decline in Chinese tourists.The pain could worsen after Abe on Thursday said the government would suspend existing visas for visitors from China and South Korea and quarantine them for two weeks.Hotels squeezed In the central prefecture of Shizuoka, home to Mt Fuji, Chinese account for as much as 70% of foreign tourists. Some 90,000 people, mostly Chinese, have cancelled hotel and ryokan inn bookings for the first three months of this year, according to the local tourism association.That represents about a third of the total bookings by Chinese tourists during the period.In response, the prefecture has made it easier for tourism-dependent businesses to get loans, said Mitsuhiro Sasamatsu of the local government’s tourism policy division.But some hotels that are dependent on Chinese tourists are temporarily shutting down. “For them, it is better cost-wise to shut down completely than to have the business open for few guests,” Sasamatsu said.About 80,000 new rooms are expected to open in nine major cities between 2019 and 2021, according to a June report from CBRE, a property research firm.Even before the coronavirus, the supply of rooms in all nine was forecast to outstrip demand, according to CBRE.This week, H.I.S. Co, Japan’s largest listed travel agent by revenue, said it expected a full-year loss, rather than a profit, citing the coronavirus impact.Yoshio Adachi, who guides tourists around Yokohama’s bay area in a custom tuk tuk imported from Thailand, reckons the number of Chinese tourists has fallen by as much 60% since the outbreak.He is hoping that a bid to host a casino resort in the city, Japan’s second largest, will pan out and lead to more tourists.”The Olympics will be a one off, so the economy will need to come back after that,” he said. The restaurants at the Exitmelsa shopping centre in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district are usually packed with Chinese tourists. But on a recent weekday, many lunchtime tables were empty, a sign of the toll that the coronavirus is taking on tourism.For Japanese who have grown dependent on Chinese tourists for business, like waiter Kiyotake Watanabe, it marks a disconcerting trend.”People on group tours would gather together at noon, and 10 or 20 of them would come in all at once,” Watanabe, who works at a Chinese restaurant in the shopping center, told Reuters. Those customers evaporated after China in January banned overseas group tours.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Freshwater dream home’s long history in Cairns

first_img AGENT: Debbie North, Cairns Property Office Cairns, 0412 770 953 PRICE: Contact agent A CHANCE visit to a friend’s place more than 25 years ago set in motion a range events that would see Josie and Russell Beer settle in Freshwater.Siting high in Freshwater with sweeping views of the surrounding rural land, the home at 18A Duffy St has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past two decades.Originally in McLeod St, Cairns North, the house was moved in the early 1990s and underwent renovations with the addition of the large wraparound deck on the upper story.Which is when the Beers first saw the home. 18A Duffy Street, Freshwater, QLDAlong with knocking down a wall or two upstairs to create a more open and inviting ambience, they updated the kitchen, moved the original bathroom to make room for a study and created an ensuite and walk-in robe off the main bedroom.Downstairs, the home has been built-in to know include three bedrooms, bathroom, toilet, kitchenette and living room.Then nine years later more significant renovations were made, with the installation of a 12.5m lap pool, the backyard was levelled to create a play area, and the sizeable cellar was upgraded. 18A Duffy St, Freshwater when it was in McLeod St. It was moved from McLeod St in 1993 and over the last 25 years completely renovated it. “I love entertaining and having people around,” Mrs Beer said.“We have had parties for 120 people on the deck, we’ve had 21st birthdays, we have had a conference here.“I love having people around and sharing the space and the views – it seems to create a lovely area for conservations.”Selling agent Debbie North from Cairns Property Office said it is one of the “loveliest Queenslanders I’ve seen” .“What I love about the house are the incredible decks (about 95 sqm),” she said.“I love the traditional views across the cane fields with very few rooftops, the way they’ve preserved the character of the home, but you have wonderful modern things like a lap pool, ensuite and guest accommodation. “Also, despite the fact that it is so elevated that they’ve carefully created a decent sized usable area for kids to kick a ball around. “The placement of the kitchen where it services the deck is also great. “It’s so unusual for someone to be able to bring up a family from young children to adults in the same house and the house itself is absolutely timeless.”The Beers say it’s “reluctantly time to downsize” from what’s been their “dream home” and they’ve enjoyed it so much they’re “almost jealous of the next owners”. The polished and bright master bedroom.Despite the alterations, the original character of the home has been preserved. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“I think it is a real welcoming home, it creates a certain atmosphere when you have people around,” Mrs Beer observed.Surrounded by greenery, the home oozes a sense of privacy in a natural environment, while the magnificent rural view from the deck remains a feature of the home.“I think people get quite surprised when they walk through the front door, they go ‘Oh wow’ as they see the view,” Mrs Beer said.“You get the brown fields (of cane) at times, and then just before they are harvesting, the cane arrows and it gets this silvery look; it is like a sea in the way it changes all the time.”While the house with its four bedrooms and fenced lawn area, certainly suits a family, it is equally at home as an entertainer’s retreat.Serious cooking has been done from the kitchen with the direct servery windows servicing both indoor and outdoor dining. 18A Duffy St, Freshwater Siting high in Freshwater with sweeping views of the surrounding rural land, the home at 18A Duffy St has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past two decades.“We were going their place for dinner, we must have drove past and Russell said: ‘That looks good, I’m going to buy you that house one day,”, Mrs Beer recalled.“Our friends down the street said to us, ‘Those people will never sell, it’s been a labour of love’.”But, the house did go to auction just a few years later.“We came just to have a look, we didn’t bid or anything, but then a few weeks later the (real estate) agent contacted us to see if we were interested.“We couldn’t really afford to buy, but we decided to it.“We’d just had three cubic meters of mulch dumped at our home in Stratford, so we quickly got that cleaned up and sold and bought this place.”After taking ownership of the home the Beers made further modifications and renovations to suit their growing family. OPEN: Saturday 11am-noonlast_img read more

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Alexa Romero’s inconsistencies continue for SU in 3-2 loss to North Carolina

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 6, 2020 at 9:15 pm [email protected] | @cincinnallie Alexa Romero seemed to have it all together against North Carolina. A one-hit, two-strikeout first inning followed by a perfect second inning was only the fourth time in 13 appearances this season she’d pitched two straight scoreless innings to start. The rest of the game was plagued with inconsistency by Romero, though. In the end, Syracuse (8-10, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) fell to North Carolina (9-11, 3-1) 3-2 in Syracuse’s conference opener Friday evening.In the third inning, a groundout followed by two singles put runners on first and second with one out for UNC. A fly out to center made it two outs, and then Romero gave up an RBI single to let the first run cross the plate. Despite facing seven batters, Romero only gave up one run in the fourth. A single, a walk and a hit by pitch quickly loaded the bases after she retired the first two batters. An RBI walk followed and brought the second run home for the Tar Heels.But then Romero gave up a home run to start the fifth inning — her eighth of the season. A walk and double followed, yet a double play and a rocket from Paris Woods to Gabby Teran ended the inning.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange’s offense struggled against UNC sophomore Hannah George, whose 2.79 ERA leads the team and is 14th in the ACC. Syracuse had only two hits the entire game from AJ Kaiser and Mia Cunnings, while eight batters struck out.A double by Cunnings brought the first run across the plate, scoring Gabby Teran — who was hit by a pitch to open the inning. Kaiser doubled in the sixth inning to bring Jamie Gregg home after she reached on an error.Rebecca Clyde’s recent struggles also continued against the Tar Heels. After an 0-3 day, Clyde is now 1-for-23 with eight strikeouts in her last eight games. The freshman was moved up in the order after batting .333 in her first eight games. Head coach Shannon Doepking moved her to batting eighth today.Syracuse continues its weekend series against UNC Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Commentslast_img read more

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