I read a book about Hoshino Resort, which operates 17 luxurious resort facilities in Japan because the company is really “hot” these days and President, Yoshimichi Hoshino, an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to change the resort business in Japan, is really in the media almost every day. Mr. Hoshino, who is a graduate of Cornell School of Hotel Administration, is a 4th generation resort hotelier from Nagano and has drastically grown the family business and made it widely known throughout the nation. His company is currently working with Goldman Sachs, which is now targeting onsen(hot-spring) market for investment.
According to an article by Nikkei MJ, he said they would be opening a hi-end “Hoshino-ya” brand hotel in Kyoto this December, which will be the second “Hoshino-ya” in Japan. Hoshino-ya Karuizawa, its first, provides not only green tourism with its nature guides but also eco-friendly “green facilities” such as an energy-saving system, using recycled heat and traditional Japanese building techniques. He believes that Kyoto attracts many foreign tourists and his hotel’s average room rate of 73,000 yen for double occupancy per night is not too high compared with other luxurious foreign-capital hotel chains. His target room occupancy is 70 percent, which is quite challenging. He is also planning another Hoshino-ya in Okinawa in 2010 and the Mt. Fuji area and Kusatsu after that. Michelin will publish a Kyoto/Osaka restaurant guide this fall. Hope he will bring back many foreign tourists to Japan and let them experience his story.