Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) reported that the number of guest nights in December 2015 was up 4.7% year on year to 39.8 million in total, which represented the record-high result for December. Including the monthly result, the yearly total was up 6.7% year on year to 505 million guest nights, marking the first over 500 million ever.
Out of the yearly total, Japanese guest nights were up 2.4% to 439 million, mainly boosted by positive reactions from rise of the consumption tax a year earlier, shift of traveler demand from overseas destinations to domestic destinations under the weak yen situation and open of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. International guest nights remarkably increased by 48.1% to 66.4 million.
In December 2015 only, Japanese guest nights was slightly up 0.8% to 34.2 million, which resulted in the first year-on-year growth in the past two months. International guest nights were up 36.8% to 5.6 million.
JTA also announced the preliminary result for January 2016 that guest nights were up 3.3% to 36.5 million in total, which consisted of 30.6 million Japanese guest nights (-12.5%) and 5.9 million international guest nights (+49.4%).
The room occupancy rate in 2015 was 60.5% on average nationwide. The top was 82.3% in Tokyo, followed by 85.2% in Osaka.
By category, the average room occupancy rates were 79.9% for city hotels, 75.1% for budget hotels and 57.3% for resort hotels. The prefectures with the occupancy rates of 80% or higher increased from three to 11 for city hotels, from two to five for budget hotels and from zero to two for resort hotels. Osaka Prefectures particularly enjoyed high occupancy rates of 91.4% for resort hotels, 88.1% for city hotels and 87.8% for budget hotels.
On the contrary, the average occupancy rate of ryokans was 37.8% nationwide, and the low rates were especially found in Ibaraki, Saitama, Nagano or Niigata with around 25%.
In December 2015 only, the average occupancy rate was 56.2% nationwide, which represented the record-high result for December. The rates of 51.4% for resort hotels, 77.8% for city hotels and 71.0% for budget hotels were also record-high for December. In Osaka, the occupancy rates were continuously high at 89.2% for city hotels, 86.2% for resort hotels and 85.5% for budget hotels.