Izu tourism begins to tail off

Almost 12,000 people have canceled reservations at hotels and inns in the hot spring resort city of Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture, due to the series of earthquakes that has been shaking the Izu Peninsula since Mar. 3.

A total of 363 hotels and inns in Ito — the gateway to the eastern side of the peninsula — have been receiving cancellations since the quakes began at about 12:30 a.m. Mar. 3, city officials said Mar. 5. In addition, more than 13,000 people have canceled their trips to other cities in the southern Izu Peninsula, fearing that public transportation may stop due to the temblors, according to officials.

The regions’s tourism industry is concerned that if the quakes continue, they will seriously damage local business. “Too bad we are getting hit by another series of quakes just as we recover from one last October,” said Hidekatsu Takei, head of the Ito Hot Spring Ryokan Cooperative Society, adding that nothing can be done until the quakes subside.