(Hokkaido quake) Hotels hit by visitor cancellations

World | 6 Sep 2018 6:55 pm

Hokkaido, a popular tourist destination in Japan, was hit by a wave of hotel cancellations from tourists in the capital city of Sapporo and other areas, local media reports say.

"The water supply has completely stopped and there’s no power, so all of the systems are down and we can’t process reservations,” said Nobuyoshi Fujiwara, a front desk clerk at Sapporo Tokyu REI Hotel. "We are asking people checking in today to cancel their reservations, but for those who insist on staying we will provide rooms as long as they are available.” There is no electricity either.

Many of the hotel's 902 rooms were occupied, including by foreign guests.

A clerk at five-star hotel Royton Sapporo said it has received more than 50 cancellations, with the number expected to grow, Japan Times rpeorts.

Hokkaido received a total of around 56.1 million tourists in the year through March. The number of foreign tourists hit a record high of 2.3 million in fiscal 2016, accounting for 9.3 percent of the total foreign travelers to Japan.

A staffer at Hilton Niseko Village said the establishment, located in a ski resort area popular with foreign tourists, has not been able to get a full grasp of how many people have canceled because the reservation system is out of service.

"We heard from agents that some guests from overseas have canceled, and several South Korean travelers contacted us saying their flights [to Hokkaido] were grounded,” she said.

The hotel, operating on backup power, checked the safety of all guests by going around the rooms one by one and made an in-house announcement in four languages — Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese — at around 5 a.m. assuring guests that there was no damage to the facility.

Another hotel, One Niseko Resort Towers, indicated that the damage it suffered was relatively minor. A clerk said that it only found broken dishes at its restaurant on the 10th floor.

The owner of Lodge Moiwa 834 in Niseko, meanwhile, quickly hung up, saying he needs to save the battery on his mobile phone.

The quake also forced some tourist spots in the Hokkaido capital to close, including the former Hokkaido government office building (also known as the Red Brick Office), the North Safari Sapporo and the Sapporo TV Tower.-Photo: Kyodo

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