Niseko tourism’s new normal builds on area’s existing strengths
It’s anyone’s guess right now what tourism will look like over the next few seasons. And indeed, anyone and everyone is having a guess, such is the importance of tourism to economies worldwide.
Still there are a few themes we can be reasonably sure of.
People will be looking for places without quarantine (meaning staying in their own country or within the same ‘travel bubble’), where distancing is easy, and where the authorities and hosts can be trusted to have taken the right precautions.
Where does this leave SnowDog Village?
A travel bubble – a region encompassing countries that share similar experiences of the virus - roping Japan together with Taiwan and Hong Kong has been mooted. For now though, Niseko will look to guests from within Japan, both expats and locals.
As regards distancing, Hokkaido has clear advantages in terms of its size and sparse population. SnowDog’s location in Higashiyama means it is set apart from the busiest parts of Niseko and the area’s focus on an outdoors lifestyle further insulates the visitor. We’ll even make sure - occupancy allowing - to allocate rooms to maximise distancing.
We have stepped up the sanitizing of surfaces and deep cleaning of linens in all rooms and staff health is being continually monitored. And if you need additional hand sanitizer or masks, you have only to ask.
For SnowDog Village then, the new normal is, well, not so far off normal.
Being self-contained, our units make it easy to keep contact with other guests and hotel staff to a minimum. Japanese law mandates that check-in is done face-to-face but we’ll keep our distance after that. Expect the occasional wave or shouted greeting though – we’re sorry, sometimes our friendly staff just can’t help themselves.
Distressingly for us dog lovers, it’s been shown that they can get Covid-19 too so our fenced-off dog run is ideal for keeping your precious pooch safely distanced from other animals.
Should the worst happen and you need to shorten or cancel your stay, we have relaxed our cancellation policy to make this easier. If instead you want to extend, we’ll be only too happy to oblige, subject to availability.
Some visitors – especially those with their own vehicle – like to tour the region, staying only one or two nights in each place. In the post-covid era, this is likely to be riskier. Why not ask about our incentives for longer stays instead, and use SnowDog as a trusted base from which you can explore Otaru, Yoichi, Shakotan, Sapporo, Lake Toya and Lake Shikotsu as well?
Finally, for those who can never quite say no to work, remember that SnowDog is the perfect place for ‘workation’. Our free high-speed internet makes it easy to keep up with the office, anywhere on the grounds.