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Japan: Many skiing regions on verge of bankruptcy

Apr 07, 2005 / alpMedia
Japan's winter resorts are in crisis. Since the boom years in the early 1990s the number of winter sports enthusiasts has dropped by more than a third. Even on weekends where snow is abundant many of the lifts remain closed. One ski resort in two is on the verge of bankruptcy. And yet in recent years only 4 out of a total of 722 ski areas have closed down; this is because Japanese legislation requires that, in the event of closure, operators dismantle the lift facilities and restore the ski slopes.
The current malaise is due to vast overcapacities, which have triggered a collapse in prices. Today the lift operators and hoteliers lack the funds necessary for new and replacement investments, with negative repercussions on competitiveness. Japan's winter resorts are hoping the situation might be alleviated by tapping the booming markets in South Korea and China.
Source and information: (en)