Japan's tourism boom fuels hotel growth
Is Japan the next development boom? Numbers sure don't lie. Last week, government data showed that a record 11.25 million tourists visited Japan last year, up 22.7 percent from a year earlier. Why the boost? Analysts say a combination of factors are involved, including a weaker yen, cheaper air fares, less strict visa requirements in the region and an overall boost to Asia-Pacific tourism, which has seen tourist visits double since 2,000. Hoteliers are taking note. For one, Red Planet Hotels, the major shareholder of budget brand Tune Hotels. It's CEO told CNBC it plans to open up 20 hotels by 2020 in Japan to benefit from this growing trend.