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Niseko ski resorts cutting occupancy amid staff shortage

SAPPORO, Dec 12 (Nikkei) - Niseko, a world-famous ski resort area in Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, is suffering a severe labor shortage, forcing some hotels and resorts to operate at reduced occupancy heading into the peak season.

"We don't have enough staff to provide good hospitality," said a worker at Chalet Ivy Hirafu, a hotel in the Niseko area. The property has lowered the maximum occupancy rate due to a shortage of both Japanese and foreign staff.

The labor shortage is not limited to this hotel.

"Several facilities are moving in the direction of limiting the number of guest rooms in operation to ensure the quality of their services," said the tourism association in Kutchan, the town where some of the resorts are located. Niseko municipal government's industry and tourism division notes that some hotels have begun limiting operations, such as closing restaurants. ...continue reading

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