Town in Niseko ski resort area to tax lodgers
Japan Today -- Dec 14
The northern Japan town of Kutchan in the popular Niseko ski resort area is to introduce a lodging tax after the town assembly passed an ordinance on Thursday.

The town aims to bring in the tax in November next year following consultations with the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. It will likely become the first fixed-rate lodging tax in Japan.

Under the ordinance, guests staying at hotels, inns as well as private lodging services in the town will be taxed 2 percent of their accommodation fees.

The town in Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido is known for its powder snow and draws 140,000 lodgers from overseas a year, many from Asia and Australia.

The town expects to raise 300 million yen a year by taxing travelers who stayed overnight at accommodations. It plans to use the revenue for promoting tourism, including expansion of multi-lingual guidance services and barrier-free designed facilities.

The number of visitors to the town is growing each year. In 2017, about 1.6 million people visited the resort area, which has a population of 15,000 and now faces a serious shortage of tourist services and facilities, including transportation, car parks and information desks.

News source: Japan Today
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