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Will Hokkaido’s Tourism/Housing Boom Make Niseko The Next Japanese Business Hub?

Mt. Yotei @ Niseko | Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Niseko as a Japanese business centre may not be a reality at the moment but the world-renowned winter holiday destination eventually taking on the role is not also a remote possibility. The Hokkaido ski resort town after all already boasts of a booming economy, largely driven by the ongoing wave of tourist arrivals and the resulting property development rush.

There is “an influx of inbound tourists into Hokkaido,” the Japanese daily The Mainichi reported, and the surrounding resort towns have been reaping the benefits. In Hirafu and Kutchan, land prices surged by more than 88 percent, which the report said was the highest rate seen in the national real estate scene in the last four years.

Truth to be told, Hokkaido is among Japan’s best performing property market as majority of the prefecture’s land area have seen incredible acceleration in value. There are tracts of land in the province where the rise in value was registered by up to seven times. And Niseko is included in the list.

Rush Of Foreign Buyers Coming To Niseko

Unsurprisingly, Niseko now is witnessing “a development rush.” The Mainichi said property construction activities on the ski slopes of the town have been commonplace. Luxury condominiums are being developed in the area that poured hundreds of millions in dollars into the economy of both Niseko and Hokkaido.

The rush, of course, caught the attention of tourists doubling too as investors. According to the same report, as Hokkaido and Niseko gained more attention from the outside world, “foreign investments came pouring in along with the inbound tourism boom.”

Talks are rife that many visitors head to Niseko in search of properties that suit their needs, purpose and taste. “There was also news here and there about how foreign nationals were buying up Niseko for profits,” The Mainichi report stated.

In many cases, Hong Kong and Singapore nationals led the pack of these Niseko property buyers. They make use of their acquisitions for winter and summer holidays, and rent them out to travellers when they are out of town.

Niseko’s Basic Allure

Skiing @ Niseko | Photo Credit: Niseko United

It could be that Niseko will soon become another of Japan’s business centre – a destination for world leaders and corporate executives to hold their summit. But the town is a tourist draw first because it is part of Japan.

Niseko has this natural pull on tourists because of its intrinsic Japanese appeal, Paul Haagart, a tourism coordinator, told The Mainichi in an interview. “Niseko is situated in Japan, a place full of charm,” he declared.

However, Haagart is convinced as well that Niseko is gradually shaping up as the epicentre where international visitors will naturally converge. When it happens, these people will regard Niseko as the place to carry out their business, he added.