NAGOYA -- With Japan heading into summer vacation season while still cautious of spreading coronavirus infections, a number of central Japan hotels and inns are trying to lure more customers with special services for guests vaccinated against COVID-19.
Kaiei Ryokans, based in Minamichita, Aichi Prefecture, operates 19 accommodation facilities nationwide, primarily in the central Japan Chubu region. The firm is offering special new plans for guests who have received their second round of vaccinations.
The program, billed as the "commemoration of completing vaccinations," grants special privileges including souvenirs worth 1,000 yen (about $9.00), a copy of a newspaper containing the guests' photo to commemorate the date of their stay, and free room or meal upgrades until the end of July.
So far, the plans have reportedly been popular with medical professionals and elderly couples aged 65 or older, who had priority doses, among other guests. As inoculations progress among younger generations, the company expects more people will be eligible for the incentive plans.
"We felt there must be many people relieved to have wrapped up their double shots, so we instilled the program with our regard for their efforts," a company public relations official said. "I hope our guests will relax at our inns, where infection prevention measures are thoroughly in place."
Meanwhile, Nagoya Prince Hotel Sky Tower in Nagoya's Nakamura Ward launched a new service on July 22 that allows vaccinated people and those who aren't to stay together at ease.
Under the plan, all members of a group including at least one vaccinated individual can have polymerase chain reaction tests in advance while paying only the room charge. Once the reservation is made, testing kits will be sent to potential guests' homes, and test results can be provided by the night before their planned stay.
The hotel expects the plan will see uptake from families and other groups who have long refrained from travel or returning to their hometowns during the repeated coronavirus infections resurgences.
"We'd be happy if fully vaccinated elderly customers can enjoy a secure stay here together with their grandchildren," said a public relations official.
Guests who test negative for the virus can have breakfast in a private room upon presenting their test results.
(Japanese original by Atsuko Ohta, Nagoya News Center)