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Japan holiday home rental crackdown as over-tourism increases | Travel News | Travel

Japan holiday home rental crackdown as over-tourism increases | Travel News | Travel 46

Japan is the latest victim when it comes to over-tourism.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), 28.7 million people visited Japan last year.

This is an increase of 20 million tourists since 2012, and it is one of the fastest growing tourist levels in the world compared to the US and Spain.

With the Olympics being hosted in Japan in 2020, a drive to welcome more tourists is being pushed by prime minister Shinzo Abe.

However, the latest change to affect tourists is the stricter rules for home rental properties.

Any citizen who is renting out their home must register their property through the government and post their license number.

The new rule came into play today which amended the Japanese Hotels and Inns Act of 1947, after a warning on June 1 that all rental spaces must meet the new regulations.

A statement by Airbnb, a popular home rental website, stated that thousands had been affected which was “frustrating” for travellers.

“Any reservation scheduled for guest arrival between June 15 and June 19 at a listing in Japan that does not currently have a license has been cancelled,” they explained.

“Going forward, unless the government reverses its position, we will automatically cancel and fully refund any reservations at listings in Japan that have not been licensed within 10 days of guest arrival.”

Hosts have to abide by other strict rules as well, such as only being allowed to rent out properties for 180 days of the year.

Rentals in certain destinations such as Kyoto are only permitted during low season (mid-January to mid-March), according to newspaper AsiaOne.

Home rental services have been banned or strictly regulated in a number of other other countries.

They have been blamed for driving up rent prices in the region, pricing out locals.

The Balearic Islands, the Netherlands and Paris all have strict rules with registration or restricted rental periods per year.

Over-tourism is a growing problem affecting many popular holiday destinations.

Venice and many of the Spanish islands have seen anti-tourist marches and protests in light of the issue.

Towns and cities are too small to cope with the increasing visitors where tourist numbers outweigh locals and leave behind litter and noise complaints.

Amsterdam is the latest city to issue new rules and fines that tourists will face if disturbing the peace in the area.

Many tourist beaches in Asia have also been forced to shut thanks to high visitor numbers causing damage.

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