Japan’s Okura Hotels to launch new upscale limited-service hotel chain

Hotel Okura Tokyo. Source: Hotel Okura

SEEING a winning opportunity to capitalize on the tourist boom brought on by the upcoming Tokyo Olympic games, Japanese hospitality company, Hotel Okura, and Hawaii-based private real estate firm, Trinity Investments, are teaming up to create a chain of upscale limited-service hotels in Japan.

The chain, called Nikko Style, is aimed at leisure and business travelers, according to Trinity president and chief executive officer Sean Hehir.

Recognizing a gap in the market for quality select-service hotels, the group aims to fill this void with their plans to open 20 to 30 Nikko Style hotels throughout Japan.

Hotel Okura Tokyo. Source: Hotel Okura

“Japan’s hotel inventory is arguably the most underserved amongst developed countries worldwide, with little segmentation by major brand companies into the upscale select service space, where branding and value-driven price points will be highly attractive to the country’s new visitor demographic,” Hehir said in a statement.

“This collaboration with our long-standing partner Hotel Okura on Nikko Style will serve to fill this void, allowing for the rapid penetration of a new but familiar brand throughout Japan.”

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The joint venture aims to capitalize on the “transformational tourism shift” in Japan anticipated in conjunction with the Tokyo 2020 Games. Tourism officials in the country are pushing to attract more Western visitors and double international tourism by the time the Games commence.

Communal lobby plan for new Nikko Style hotels. Source: Hotel Okura

A record 7.4 million tourists visited Japan in the third quarter, led by visitors from South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and up 19 percent from a year earlier, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

The venture plans to start its unique Nikko Style label in major metropolitan and regional areas throughout Japan, including Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Fukuoka, as well as Hokkaido and Okinawa. Following the establishment of the brand and operations in Japan, the brand will expand across Asia, North America and Europe.