Nara Puts Off Accommodation Tax amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Politics

Nara, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--The western Japan city of Nara will put off its plan to introduce the accommodation tax during fiscal 2020, to limit damage on the city's tourism industry amid the outbreak of a new coronavirus, its mayor said Friday.

Mayor Motonobu Nakagawa told a press conference that the city will take various factors into consideration and decide when to introduce the tax after monitoring the situation concerning the virus.

A city survey of 13 large hotels with 100 rooms or more each showed that reservations for 3,156 guests, mainly on group tours from China, had been canceled as of Thursday, according to the city.

On Tuesday, the health ministry said that a Japanese male bus driver in Nara Prefecture has been confirmed as infected with the virus. He drove tourists from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.

"It has been confirmed that there is obvious damage (to tourism). We need to stop for now to see how things go," Nakagawa said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press