City hotels are selling packages that give children a behind-the-scenes look at the industry.
The hotels claim their programs are to help kids learn about the industry, but they are also hoping to attract more families as the number of business travelers drop off during the summer.
Between July 31 and Aug. 4, Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, boasted the Let’s Experience overnight package for elementary school children for 37,000 yen per night. The price includes a twin room for one child and one parent and the child’s program.
The participants visit the different facilities in the hotel, help the housekeeping staff make beds, decorate cakes in the hotel bakery and serve customers wearing a hotel uniform.
So far, about 120 elementary school students have taken part, hotel officials said.
The Sheraton Grande organized a free “One Day Hotel Employee” event in 2003 to introduce elementary school students to the industry. The event proved to be very popular with more than 2,500 children applying for 15 spots.
Based on that experience, the hotel developed the special accommodation package, they said.
Hotel Okura Tokyo in Minato Ward, Tokyo, has a similar plan.
The Okura is offering a tour to experience the hotel during summer vacation on Thursdays and Fridays in August.
The overnight stay costs 39,600 yen and covers a room for two along with breakfast and tickets to the swimming pool.
“The price is reasonable compared with other plans,” a Hotel Okura official said.
Children get an extensive tour of the hotel — even going to the boiler room and the water cistern — to help them learn how the inn is run, hotel officials said.
The favorite part of the tour is the hotel’s most expensive suite, priced at 500,000 yen per night. Hollywood stars and world leaders have stayed there, they said.
And at the end of the tour, the young clients don Okura uniforms and have their photo taken.
“I hope these children will choose our hotel when they get older,” an Okura official said.
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