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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Revealed! Arsenal’s Invincibles always fighting in training

first_imgArsenal’s Invincibles were always fighting in training, according to former Gunners defender Lauren. Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Meet The World’s Most Striking Animals HereWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?Fantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Become A Vegetarian7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More10 Awesome 2019 Movies You Probably Missed7 Mysterious Discoveries Archaeologists Still Can’t Explain Loading… Arsene Wenger masterminded a squad full of quality and character to the league title in the 2003/04 season, going undefeated. And while there was joy and happiness at the end of it, things weren’t always so rosy during. That’s according to Cameroonian full-back Lauren, who has revealed just how competitive things were at the club. He even admitted to being involved in a scrap with Gunners legend Thierry Henry. Speaking to the Arsenal website, the 43-year-old said: “Of course there was fighting. I love at Arsenal that the journalists didn’t go to the training sessions. “In our time if the journalists were to attend training there would be history every single day. “How competitive we were – all fighting between ourselves. I had a fight with Thierry [Henry], Thierry with Martin [Keown], Patrick with Freddie [Ljungberg]. “We were all very competitive and we were all fighting because we all had big egos, big personalities but by the time the games arrived, we were fighting for the same goal.” Lauren admitted that Wenger was the glue that held all the “big egos” together, and brought them to the stunning success. He added: “You need that, big egos but you have the manager as well that knows how to control the big egos, how to control those players. “I prefer to be in a team that you see players face to face, you can talk to him, tell him whatever you want. “But when the games arrive you will be 100 per cent for the same goal, to achieve what we set out to do at the beginning of the season. “This is the most important thing; without that, it is difficult to win things. “I don’t want to be in a team that nothing happens, we’re all quiet, if you win no problem, if you lose no problem. You can’t compete like that. “In our time we were all competitive, we were all fighting between each other. “But at the end of the day we were fighting for the same goal and that’s why we managed to win things.” Arsenal became the first team to ever go undefeated in a 38-game season. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

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GOtv Boxing Night 16 Holds Sunday

first_imgThe Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium will Sunday be the focal point of boxing fans around the continent, as it hosts GOtv Boxing Night 16, tagged the “Independence Edition”.This is the first time Teslim Balogun is hosting the event. A total of nine bouts, including two with international flavour, are scheduled. Headlining the show will be the West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight title bout between Ghana’s Benjamin Lamptey and Nigeria’s Rilwan Oladosu. The second international bout is a challenge duel between Ghana’s Emmanuel Mensah and Nigeria’s Oto Joseph, the African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight champion. The other big- name match-ups are the national light heavyweight title duel between Kabiru Towolawi and Adewale Masebinu as well as the featherweight challenge clash between Waidi “Skoro” Usman and Chibuzo Obi.The bout card also features debutants, famously drawn from the last two editions of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search. In the super bantamweight division, Adeyemi Elijah will face Sheriff Ogunbanjo, while Taiwo Agbaje will face Tope Musa in the lightweight division. Azeez “Who Say So” will take on Waheed “Showmax” Shogbanmu in a light welterweight bout, as Isaac “I Star” Chukwudi takes on Adeyemi Adekanla in the welterweight class. The last of the debutants’ clashes pairs Aminu Akintayo with Mutiu Lawal.The best boxer at the event will go home with the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy and a cash prize of N1.5million. GOtv Boxing Night 16 will be beamed live in 47 African countries by SuperSport.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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