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Kyoto's hotel occupancy rate in Oct. hits post-COVID high of 63.7%

A parade during the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) is seen at Kyoto Gyoen Park in Kyoto's Kamigyo Ward in this Oct. 22, 2022, file photo. (Mainichi/Kazuki Yamazaki)

KYOTO -- The room occupancy rate at major hotels in this ancient Japanese capital city in October recorded a post-coronavirus pandemic high of 63.7%, a survey by the Kyoto City Tourism Association has revealed.

    The figure was up 9.3 percentage points from September. It is believed that the Japanese government's easing of border controls and a new domestic travel subsidy program helped raise the occupancy rate. However, the figure was still lower than the 86.1% from October 2019, indicating that tourism in Kyoto has not fully recovered to the level before the pandemic.

    The October rate was slightly higher than the previous record since the COVID-19 virus began to spread at 63.3% in November 2020, during the Go To Travel subsidy campaign.

    Of all hotel guests, foreign nationals accounted for 13.7% -- a rapid increase from the previous month at 3.9%. The number of Japanese guests also grew by 12.4% from September.

    Meanwhile, the occupancy rate at major Japanese-style inns in Kyoto in October stood at 60.0% -- 0.2 points higher than in the previous month. While inns continued to accommodate guests on school trips in both September and October, the number of individual tourists did not reportedly grow much, making the occupancy rate far below the 70% in October 2019.

    The survey was conducted on 116 major hotels and 24 major Japanese-style inns in the city. The tourism association has high expectations from November onward, saying, "It is expected that the room occupancy rates will grow thanks to the travel subsidy program raising demand as well as the effects of the fall foliage season and the year-end and New Year holidays."

    (Japanese original by Norikazu Chiba, Kyoto Bureau)

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