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Fan-Free Olympics Leaves Hotels Facing 1 Million Cancellations

  • Tokyo games adding to test of stamina for pandemic-hit hotels
  • Sector spent $14 billion to improve facilities before Olympics
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WATCH: The decision to bar spectators from the main athletics events have triggered a wave of hotel room cancellations. Sophie Jackman reports.(Source: Bloomberg)
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From bellboys and receptionists to chefs and concierges, hotel staff in Japan are likely to find they have more time to watch the Olympics than they ever expected.

A fourth Covid emergency in Tokyo and a decision to bar spectators from the main athletics events have triggered a wave of hotel room cancellations. This latest setback puts further pressure on a hotel industry that bet big on the summer games serving as a springboard for Japan’s wider economic goal of attracting 40 million overseas visitors a year.

While large hotel chains with deep cash reserves can pace themselves for the long run and a post-Covid upturn in fortunes, for smaller operators the pandemic-hit Olympic dream is already testing their business stamina as bankruptcies in the sector pick up.