Nara Hotels Hit by Booking Cancellations amid Viral Outbreak

Society Culture Lifestyle

Nara, Feb. 5 (Jiji Press)--Hotels and "ryokan" Japanese-style inns in the western Japan prefecture of Nara had reservations canceled by about 10,500 prospective visitors by Friday, following the viral outbreak in China.

Shogo Arai, governor of the tourism-oriented prefecture, announced the survey result at a press conference Wednesday. Some 7,000 people canceled accommodations in the city of Nara, the prefectural capital and a prominent tourist destination hosting Todaiji temple and Nara Park.

The prefecture conducted the survey via a local industry group, receiving answers from 23 hotels and ryokans. Many of them were large accommodation facilities with 100 or more rooms.

The nationalities of the prospective visitors are unknown, but the prefecture believes that cancellations by group tourists from China had a big impact.

It was learned on Jan. 28 that a Nara bus driver in his 60s had tested positive for the new coronavirus. On the bus, he carried tourists from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak is believed to have originated, to Nara Park, prompting worries over reputational damage.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press