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Niseko Property Market Boosted by Entry of Ritz-Carlton, Other Premium Hotel Brands

Niseko, Japan’s high-end ski resort, is predicted to soon become a year-round holiday destination as tourist arrivals continue to increase in recent years. Seen as key factor in the observed “sustained growth” is the market entry to Niseko of well-known hotel brands such as Park Hyatt, The Pavilions and the Ritz-Carlton, according to the latest review issued by C9 Hotelworks.

Premium hotel brands, accessibility drive Niseko market growth

In 2016, Niseko welcomed around 1.6 million visitors from within and outside Japan and there are strong indications that the figures will be surpassed this 2017 and in the coming years. C9 noted on its report that apart from the uninterrupted property developments seen in Niseko, and with reputable hospitality brands right in the middle of the scene, the mountain resort has likewise witnessed “critical feeders of tourists,” coming into play, which further triggered the incredible market growth.

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For instance, the introduction of the Shinkansen bullet train that last year has facilitated for fast and easy transportation from within Hokkaido and from Tokyo, thus significantly boosting visitor arrivals into the ski resort, the report noted.

But more important, the New Chitose Airport near Sapporo proved the main feeder of the large chunk of international visitors that Niseko has been getting in the past 10 years. According to Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks, the airport has registered “an impressive 10-year compound growth rate of 13.9%.” Consequently, the new airport and the bullet train were credited to making Niseko more accessible to domestic and international tourists alike.

Niseko fast-becoming year-round holiday destination

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Also, Barnett pointed out that Niseko appears to draw in big number of tourists from the Mainland China and nearby countries, specifically coming from South Korea, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.

Travelers from these countries seem to relish Niseko’s chief attractions, which the C9 report identified as “clean air, diversity in culinary offerings and outdoor activities.”

And buoyed by the sustained market growth prevailing in Niseko at the moment, the C9 market review predicted that the ski resort will soon “become a leading year-around proposition.” A solid indicator of this emerging trend was the observed “parity in numbers (of tourist arrivals) between the frenetic December to April ski season and May to November summer and shoulder season,” in 2016.

The market numbers appear to indicate that Niseko is currently at par with the world’s “global legacy ski destinations such as Whister, Aspen or Andermatt,” while enjoying key advantages due to the city’s strategic location and its evolving services.

In addition, Niseko boasts of providing “a uniquely Asian alpine experience,” that makes the ski resort a more compelling holiday option compared to nearby rival New Zealand, Barnett stated on the C9 report.

As testament to the soaring real estate market in Niseko, the C9 review said recent condominium projects in the mountain resort can easily command a high of $17,000 per square metre price tag, the level serving as another indicator of sustained traction for prospective property investments.