Autumn is well and truly here in Niseko, and for many locals, it's their favourite time of year. The weather ‘crisps up’, the abundant nature pops with flamboyant yellows, oranges and reds and we wait anxiously for the winter season ahead. In this update, we will reflect on the summer season gone-by and what to expect as we transition into another uncertain winter.
So far, 2021 has been a great success - MnK recorded their best ever period of summer sales across its portfolio of managed properties in Country Resort, The Orchards and Akazora.
Demand for weekend accommodation from Hokkaido-based customers during the summer months has remained strong, and we continued to see Honshu residents taking the opportunity to explore Hokkaido for longer stays and complimenting their holiday in Niseko with enrollment of their children at EdVenture; Niseko’s leading English immersion summer camp. Onsite restaurants Tomo (The Orchards) and Jai la Patate (Country Resort) benefitted from the influx of guests staying nearby and remained busy throughout the summer, whilst adhering to strict COVID prevention measures. Naturally, guest numbers peaked across the national holiday weekends and the Obon holiday period, but in general the flow of guests remained nice and consistent throughout the entire season.
If this summer has taught us anything, it's that the interest in quality accommodation and service in an area of abundant nature like Niseko is still strong in Japan. Despite naysayers, Niseko retains its potential to become a truly magnificent year-round resort, all it takes is ingenuity and the push to invest in strategies that align with the right markets, which we've finally seen in the pandemic era.
Autumn 2021 and looking to Winter 21-22
While we can always rely on mother nature to provide the autumnal colours and harvest food we love in any case, this year we have unfortunately seen fall festivities affected by the ongoing pandemic. The cancellation of local summer festivals has spilled over into autumn, with the Niseko Autumn Food Festival and Niseko Classic bike race becoming notable casualties of Hokkaido’s most recent State of Emergency.
Alas, Niseko residents have remained resilient and made the most of a less-than-ideal situation. Cycling routes, hiking trails and golf courses have remained active with the throng of locals and weekend warriors splurging on outdoor activities during the fabulously green (and red) season.
Looking forward, one can only get excited about all sectors of the real estate market in Niseko. Given everything that's happened in the last 18 months, developmental investment in Niseko soldiers on and the region remains an area of immense popularity and international interest. It is generally accepted among business owners, employees and residents of Niseko that a massive influx of visitors and expenditure will come at the slightest confirmation of quarantine-free travel reopening. The beginning of such an event seems just within reach with the governments of Japan and other key markets like Australia, Singapore, China and Hong Kong finally providing updates on their easing of border restrictions as vaccination rates increase.
The resilience and adaptability the region has shown in this recent period of adversity prove that despite fluctuating international tourist numbers, Niseko is a community worth investing in, and the strength it now has will allow it to bounce back better than we've seen pre-pandemic. To position yourself in time for the rebound, chat to our experienced team for insights, listings of interest and a breakdown of how our integrated real estate approach.