Six months on from Fukushima hotel prices stabilising in East Asia

Six months on from the Fukushima disaster in Japan European hotel portal HRS can report that hotels are starting to return to “business as usual” across the region.

Six months on from Fukushima hotel prices stabilising in East Asia

Six months on from the Fukushima disaster in Japan European hotel portal HRS can report that hotels are starting to return to “business as usual” across the region. Tourism in not just Japan, but Korea, Thailand and China, experienced an understandable nosedive following the tsunami on 11th March 2011.

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Although tourism is again on the rise, HRS’s data does show that average hotel prices remain depressed in nearly all major cities , with some notable exceptions – based on a year on year comparison for the first six months of the year, as the below table shows.

Average price per room in GBP

11.03. – 06.09.2011

Changes in price compared to the same period last year in %

Major cities in East Asia

Osaka, Japan


Kyoto, Japan

Hong Kong, China

Tokyo, Japan

Seoul, South Korea

Taipei, Taiwan

Shanghai, China

Beijing, China

Bangkok, Thailand

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hanoi, Vietnam

Table: average hotel room prices per night in major Asian cities

Comparison of 11 March – 6 September 2011 and 11 March – 6 September 2010

Japan: Prices in Osaka up by over 50 percent and down in Tokyo and Kyoto

Following the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster, Japanese tourist organisation, JNTO, reported in May that numbers of visitors were down by approximately 50 percent compared to last year.

Hotels across Japan have been affected, although pick up is noticeable in some cities. Over the last six months, average prices for a hotel room in Tokyo have fallen by 11 percent and Kyoto prices for hotel rooms have fallen by almost 12 percent to an average of EUR 112.36.

Hotels in the south of Japan have seen a surge in visitors, as they seek to avoid Honshu Island. Osaka has seen an increase in travel as people choose it as an alternative to other locations, and hotels are seeing a boom on room rates of almost 50 percent.

Major Asian cities: prices fall in most cases while Hong Kong profits

In many other major Asian cities average room prices have also fallen over the last six months. Of the cities analysed, only Singapore and Hong Kong reported rising room prices. Following the disaster in Japan many companies temporarily relocated their Asian headquarters from Tokyo to Hong Kong, which led to a significant increase in business trips seeing, in turn, increased demand on hotel rooms.

Of the Asian cities surveyed, Kuala Lumpur reported the most significant fall in room prices of more than 11 percent. Hotels in Beijing and Shanghai also experienced drops of more than nine percent. Hotel prices also fell between three and seven percent compared to the same period last year in the capitals Seoul, Bangkok, Taipei and Hanoi. Although there was no radiation increase in these countries, many travellers cancelled trips they had planned immediately after the disaster.

“It is good to see hotel prices in many cities starting to rise,” comments Jon West, Managing Director of HRS UK and Ireland. “Business Travel and tourism is such a vital part of any economy and many of the cities are key hotspots when it comes to visitor dollars. We must continue to travel to Asia, and we at HRS will continue to monitor the hotel market and see how we can offer best value to the traveller and the hotel.”