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Resorts full, but Golden Week no goldmine for operators

Date Posted: 2002-05-03

With the 'Golden Week' a 10-day stretch of continuous holidays well on way, Okinawa's resorts report full or nearly full occupancy. Both tour and resort operators had looked at the traditional Japanese travel period with trepidation as their fortunes have been down ever since September 11 terror attacks in the U.S. resulted in world-wide slump in travel industry.

Another worry this year has been the looming water rationing that would be the first in six years. However, prefectural officials decided to spare the resorts from that specific trouble, and promised to guarantee that any rationing of water supply would not take place before the Golden Week holidays are over.

Although the rooms are at capacity, the business picture is far from rosy, resort managers say. 'This year we were not able to charge the premium that we traditionally did during the peak periods of the year. The competition is so brutal these days that no one is able to charge high season rates,' a spokesman for Manza Beach resort said in a telephone interview.

Hiroshi and Yoshiko Suzuki of Osaka who are staying at Nikko Alivila Resort say that from tourist's point of view that is only good. 'I could not believe that I was able to find a Golden Week tour package at a bargain rate. We paid for our two-night three-day package 30,000 per person, and that included air tickets, transportation from Naha Airport to our hotel and back when we leave, and breakfasts. That's very reasonable, indeed,' Suzuki said.

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