Japan Olympics: Officials turn cruise ships to floating hotels to meet accommodation demand

Published on : Friday, July 19, 2019

Tokyo is facing huge shortage of accommodation when Olympics fans pour into this most vibrant Japanese city for 2020 Olympic Games so that officials are looking to convert cruise ships into floating hotels.



Tokyo could be short as many as 14,000 rooms given an expected surge of Olympics-related tourism, said the tourism researchers. The local officials in Tokyo think one solution could be to put people up in giant ships temporarily docked off Tokyo and nearby Yokohama during the Olympic Games.



Among those on board with the idea is Japan’s largest travel agency JTB, which has chartered the 1,011-cabin Sun Princess for the Olympics period, complete with everything from hot tubs to a theatre. Japan’s largest travel agency JTB is offering packages that combine rooms with Olympics event tickets, but they don’t come cheap.





And both Tokyo’s local government and officials in Chiba prefecture, east of the capital, are looking into additional cruise ship possibilities.



The hotel business in Japan law bans rooms without a window, but the Health Ministry last year issued an ordinance that allows ships with windowless cabins to be used as hotels during major events.



Regardless, Tokyo officials see the ships as a novel accommodation solution and are also planning to open a new cruise ship terminal days before the Games began. The officials and industry experts in Japan hope using docked ships for extra hotel space will become common in the country, as a way to cater to visitors during special events, or even help people displaced during disasters.


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