Coronavirus Changing Travel, Retail Biz Landscape in Japan

Economy Politics

Tokyo, July 21 (Jiji Press)--The coronavirus fallout is changing the landscape of the travel and retail industries in Japan, with tourism demand slumping and personal consumption hurt by the avoidance of nonurgent travel outside home.

Hotel operator Hoshino Resorts Inc. is sponsoring the rehabilitation of White Bear Family Co., a travel agency based in the western city of Osaka. The headwind from COVID-19 led the operator of the “Shirokuma” tour to go bankrupt with debts of 27.8 billion yen last month.

Behind the bailout is Hoshino Resorts’ bid to tap the domestic travel market, as government-imposed entry restrictions have nearly wiped out foreign tourists from Japan.

Hoshino Resorts Chief Executive Officer Yoshiharu Hoshino is confident about expanding its business in the tough time. “We grew as we worked on business rehabilitation,” he said.

Hoshino Resorts aims to get a slice of what could be diverted from the 2 trillion to 3 trillion yen that has so far been spent annually overseas by Japanese.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press