Japan looks to boost limo services for flashy foreign visitors

The ministry will conduct a survey of foreign visitors, taxi operators and travel agencies to establish safety and quality standards for limousine services. The survey will take place next fiscal year and services meeting the new standards will become available from fiscal 2018.

Existing taxi services in Japan, including limousine services, are mainly for corporate customers on long-term contracts.

The ministry hopes to reflect in the limousine services the needs of wealthy tourists who want to travel in style from the airport, for example, the sources said.

The survey will gauge demand for limousines among foreign tourists. It will also ask what they expect, ranging from foreign-language abilities of drivers to smartphone ride-hailing apps and in-car Wi-Fi.

Need a flashy ride? The transport ministry plans to develop the stretch limousine sector for wealthy foreign tourists, entertainers and fun-seekers. (Japan Times) A long-term upward trend in hotel occupancy rates in Tokyo looks to be over, with demand languishing from both Japanese and foreign travelers. (Nikkei) The Japanese slang word for a last-minute cancellation, “dotakyan,” is a portmanteau made up of “dotamba” and “kyanseru.” (Japan Today) A government panel has decided to shorten the minimum stay for tourists at minpaku accommodations based on rented private homes to three days and two nights instead of seven days and six nights. (Japan Times) A transport ministry panel has drafted a numbering system for the Japanese expressway system so even foreign drivers will be able to understand it. (Japan Times)
Once a blip on the calendar, Halloween has grown into a major event in Japan. And this year, major theme parks here are once again looking to generate some scary numbers by offering bigger, better attractions celebrating the season of orange and black. (Nikkei) Targeting wealthy retirees and visitors from abroad, Japan Railways Group companies are gearing up for the launch of new luxury sleeper train services next spring. (Jiji Press) For a fee, visitors to Kyoto will have the chance to illuminate one of the city’s most distinctive landmarks with a color (or two) of their choice! ( Typhoon Namtheun, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, is moving north over the Sea of Japan after making landfall in Nagasaki Prefecture early Monday morning. (NHK) The Halloween season kicks off in Japan this week with the festivities beginning at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea where parades and other events will be held until Oct 31. (Japan Today)

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