News On Japan

A New Tax to Stay Near Disney?

TOKYO, Feb 13 (News On Japan) - On the final day of the three-day weekend, Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu City was bustling with visitors eagerly awaited Minnie's parade, marking the 40th anniversary celebrations of Tokyo Disney Resort drawing to a close. Many had booked hotels to fully enjoy the park over the holiday.

A group of university students from Nara shared, "We came from Nara and stayed at the Celebration Hotel, costing us 64,000 yen for two nights." A family of seven added, "We visited Land on Saturday and Sea on Sunday, staying at the Disney Land Hotel. We believe the cost exceeded one million yen." A couple with a baby mentioned their stay at the Celebration Hotel costing about 100,000 yen.

The introduction of an "accommodation tax" for guests staying in hotels within Urayasu City, home to the grand Tokyo Disney Resort, is under consideration.

The city recently announced plans to start concrete discussions on implementing the tax from April.

An aerial view of the JR Maihama Station area reveals numerous hotels surrounding Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, highlighting its prime seaside location. Pre-pandemic in 2019, Urayasu City welcomed approximately 30 million visitors, with around 8 million overnight stays.

The proposed accommodation tax in Urayasu City has elicited various reactions from Disney Resort visitors.

A couple from Kitakyushu, staying for two nights, hoped for easier accommodation bookings if taxes lead to improvements. University students from Nara wished for traffic congestion relief, while a family from Niigata expressed hope for easing transportation crowding. Parents from Nara hoped the tax would make the resort more accessible for children.

While some see potential benefits in using the tax for infrastructural improvements and emergency services around Maihama Station, others fear increased financial burdens.

A guest from Kanagawa lamented the additional cost, and another from Hyogo expressed concern over spending even more on their visit.

Urayasu City aims to use the tax for infrastructure development and expanding emergency services. Although the exact tax amount per night is undecided, a hypothetical 100 yen charge could generate approximately 700 million yen annually.

Aviation and travel analyst Kotaro Toriumi highlighted the primary benefit as reducing the financial load on city residents, given the majority of visitors are tourists.

Since Tokyo's early adoption of the accommodation tax in 2002, Osaka Prefecture and Kyoto City have followed suit. Kyoto's tax varies by accommodation price, reaching up to 1,000 yen for stays costing over 50,000 yen.

With tourism expected to surge post-pandemic, more municipalities are considering the tax as a vital source for tourism promotion. Cities like Sendai, Atami, and Kumamoto are among those exploring the introduction of a lodging tax.

Urayasu City has yet to determine a start date for the tax but emphasizes creating a comfortable and secure environment for guests and businesses alike, aiming for their understanding and cooperation.

Source: FNN

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