Hotels nearly full for June 17 AKB48 General Election event

The 9th AKB48 “General Election” event scheduled for Chura Sun Beach in Tomigusuku City on Jun. 17th looks to become a bonanaza to travel agencies and local hotels that report being flooded with reservations as soon as the plan to have the event on Okinawa became public.

Organizers expect the event to attract an audience of well over 10,000 people at the event, and it’s expected to give a significant impact on the local economy at the end of the rainy season when the number of visitors to the prefecture usually is low.

Althought the tickets have not gone for sale yet, many lodging facilities in the southern areas, including Naha, have been booked solid. According to a representative of a hotel booking website, most of the hotels have raised their lodging prices well above normal for the weekend of the event.

When searching for a room in the Naha area for Jun. 16th or 17th on “Rakuten Travel” or “Jaran” hotel booking websites, lodging in only small guesthouses or very expensive hotel rooms are available. Even some budget hotels charge ¥15,000 per night.

The four main chain budget hotels on Okinawa are fully booked on the two days. Hotel staff explains that the reason is the AKB event. According to a representative of a big Naha hotel, room bookings from websites and telephone calls jumped immediately on Mar. 20th when the event was announced, and the feedback was the biggest they ever had for that time of the year.

According to AKS, the management company of AKB48, “We saw a great impact from the previous AKB General Election events in Fukuoka and Niigata, and we hope that this event could help invigorate Okinawa, as well as make new fans to AKB48.”