Published on : Tuesday, February 27, 2018
According to sources, the 25 billion yen ($234 million) fund will be the biggest of its kind in Japan and is designed to breathe new life into traditional hospitality establishments. The group includes Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan Airlines and home-builder Sekisui House. Also on board are about 30 regional banks, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance and property-related companies such as Mitsubishi Estate and Daiwa Real Estate Appraisal. This hotel-tourism fund will invest mainly in rebuilding and refurbishing aging hotels, traditional Japanese inns and old-fashioned houses. The financing demand for such projects is expected to grow in the long term.
There are just over 20 hotel operators and staffing companies will serve in an advisory capacity. The number of national and international tourists visiting Japan is growing rapidly, and the members of the consortium aim to cash in and secure new revenue sources. The fund will also likely invest in private accommodations that are operated through vacation rental websites such as Airbnb. A new law comes into effect in June that lifts a ban on the practice, provided certain conditions are met.
The private rentals, known as “minpaku” in Japan, are growing in popularity, offering an affordable option amid an overall shortage of accommodation facilities in the country. Additionally, the fund will consider helping struggling traditional inns, many of which have aging owners who cannot find anyone to take over when they retire. This fund will be operated for a period of 10 years, with an annual return target of around 6%. The individual investments will range from tens of millions of yen to up to 5 billion yen.