National

Kyoto mayor says city will require barrier-free rooms at all new hotels and lodging facilities

JIJI

In order to improve the accommodation experience for people with disabilities and elderly guests, the city of Kyoto plans to require all rooms in newly built lodging facilities to be barrier-free in principle, Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa said Monday.

The city, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, aims to revise a related ordinance in fiscal 2020 and implement the new rules from the following fiscal year, he told a news conference. Kyoto will be the first city in Japan to make barrier-free rooms at all lodging facilities mandatory, regardless of size.

Current rules require only entrances, hallways and shared bathing areas at lodging facilities to be barrier-free.

The new rules will also cover areas between room entrances and beds, as well as entrances to restrooms, bathrooms and rooms containing bathing facilities, requiring hotel operators to provide sufficient space for wheelchairs to pass through.

The number of hotels in Kyoto has spiked, prompting the mayor to say last autumn that he does not want operators who do not ensure safety and security for locals or respect local culture to open hotels in the city.

The new regulations “will help bring the boom in lodging facilities to a halt,” Kadokawa said at the news conference.

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