Japan Promotes Private Lodging For Olympics

Japan promotes private lodging for Olympics

Japan's government is promoting private lodgings for tourists who will visit during the Olympic and Paralympic games next summer.

The Tourism Agency hopes that municipal governments will make more use of a lodging scheme for special events.

The scheme allows municipalities to request citizens to offer their homes as paid lodgings for a short period of time when big events are held in the area and lodging is in short supply.

The government says the application process is simpler than for private lodgings in usual cases.

But municipalities find it difficult, saying the definition of the scheme is not clear and is hard to explain to citizens.

The scheme was used in only 30 cases during the past three years.

The tourism agency and the health ministry recently revised the guidelines for the scheme, introduced a method for calculating lodging shortages and listed works which can be subcontracted to private partners.

They also made a template for documents needed when municipalities make a request to citizens.

The agency plans to hold a meeting for municipal government officials using the new guidelines.

Hiroto Tada, the head of the tourism industry division, says that the government hopes to provide a diverse choice of lodgings during the games to meet the increasing demand.