Japanese-style hotels operator Hoshino Resorts is reportedly planning to shift its focus to domestic travellers due to a decline in foreign visitors amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Weak travel demand has compelled Hoshino Resorts to close four of its hotels in Japan. Hoshinoya Tokyo in the Otemachi business district with an occupancy rate of about 90% is one among them.

Other hotels also reported a fall in occupancy rates to between 20% and 40%.

Hoshino Resorts chief executive Yoshiharu Hoshino was quoted by Reuters as saying that the company’s latest decision also comes due to a delay in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Last month, organisers decided to delay the games for a year. Prior to this, hotel developers and operators in the country envisioned a potential surge in demand from foreign travellers ahead of the games.

Hoshino said: “We are going to review our services, including meals, in order to accommodate more of local people’s preferences. Particularly, Hoshinoya Tokyo’s demand from foreigners was too strong. But now we want to attract residents of Tokyo to that facility.”

Preliminary data from global hotel research firm STR has revealed that hotel occupancy rate in the country tumbled to 30.5% last month, due to fall in the number of travellers following the pandemic.

The number is expected to drop further, the news agency added.

Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expanded a state of emergency to make it country-wide, to encourage businesses to close as the outbreak spreads.