Airbnb faces backlash in Japan

Last year, Japan drew some 19.7 million visitors, up 47 percent from a year earlier, pushing hotel occupancy rates to the limit and shining a spotlight on Tokyo's lack of accommodation.

The country’s increase in tourism is sparking an all-too-familiar conflict: that of traditional hoteliers vs. Airbnb hosts. With visitors opting to stay in residential neighborhoods rather than commercial hubs, locals and citizens are cashing in.

As such, AFP is reporting that government officials are enforcing a ban on renting rooms in private homes. The decision is, understandably, unpopular with the hosts who earned income through the home-sharing service, but industry insiders in Japan believe the ban is fair as hotels must meet certain standards that Airbnb rooms are not obligated to match.

Virtual Event


Survival in these times is highly dependent on a hotel's ability to quickly adapt and pivot their business to meet the current needs of travelers and the surrounding community. Join us for Optimization Part 2 – a FREE virtual event – as we bring together top players in the industry to discuss alternative uses when occupancy is down, ways to boost F&B revenue, how to help your staff adjust to new challenges and more, in a series of panels focused on how you can regain profitability during this crisis.

“If ryokans (traditional inns) and hotels operate under the same regulations (as Airbnb hosts) and then we lose, I could accept it,” Japan Ryokan & Hotel Association chairman Satoru Haritani said. “But if one industry is regulated and the other is not, and we have to compete under different rules, then that kind of situation would be nothing but unfair.”

Still, the government is considering compromises, and is considering allowing private homeowners in residential areas to rent out their space for up to 180 days a year.

Still, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games just years away, Japan is facing a dearth of available rooms. As such, the country may soon reconsider its position on Airbnb.



Suggested Articles

The company's main markets are still substantially affected by the measures rolled out to combat the COVID-19 health crisis.

Revenue per available room and occupancy increased over Q2, but uncertainty around the industry’s recovery remains.

The integration aims to provide hoteliers with seamless and complete visibility over group, catering and event sales performance activity.