Travelling fans fear being victims of greed after Olympic postponement

Thousands of fans planning to journey to the Olympics in Tokyo face uncertainty over flight refunds and reimbursements from lodges, after the 2020 Games had been postponed till subsequent 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic and fear they might turn into victims of greed.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) final month made the choice to delay the Games as a result of of the illness which has now claimed over 100,000 lives worldwide.

The IOC has stated that tickets for sporting occasions will likely be refunded if folks can’t attend in 2021, however admitted that it might “not comment on hotel or flight bookings which were done through third parties”.

An American professor of sport administration on the University of Washington had reserved 31 rooms for her college students for 26 days at a value of $90,000 (82,300 euros).

She says that if she doesn’t ask for the ticket reimbursement, hoping that her college students could make the brand new dates from July 23 to August eight subsequent 12 months, there may be “no guarantee” that the lodge and airplane reservations will likely be postponed accordingly.

“We are still waiting on both the hotel and the airline,” Lisa Delpy Neirotti advised AFP. “They stated it could take some time to tell us.

“I actually imagine that if hoteliers and airways begin to be grasping and never work with Olympic fans or organisations, the federal government might want to step in, because it is not going to look good for Japan tourism, however for Japan as a rustic.” In 2018, the Japanese ministry of tourism stated that it was relying on 600,000 overseas spectators attending the Games, offering a major financial windfall.

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But many of these potential guests stay at an deadlock, three weeks after the postponement was introduced.

“I made a reservation two years ago for six nights at the Sakura Cross Hotel in Tokyo, for around 60,000 yen ($553) via booking.com,” a Frenchman, who wished to stay nameless, stated.

“I am not asking to recover this amount but just to transfer the reservation to 2021.” But the lodge refused, saying that it “couldn’t take into account the specific circumstances”.

“I had taken out insurance at the same time as the plane ticket,” he added.

“But the exact conditions of insurance do not say clearly if the pandemic is covered.”

– Shock for Japanese lodges –

The delay may even have an effect on the Japanese lodge business, which had already seen lodge bookings fall in March in comparison with final 12 months.

“This is an enormous shock for us, with sales in many of our member hotels already down by half because of plunging demand for tourism, not only from abroad but also inside Japan due to the coronavirus,” stated Shigemi Sudo, secretary common of the Tokyo Hotels and Ryokans Association.

Faced with unhealthy publicity and rising discontent, some Japanese lodges are eager to be understanding.

“Normally we’d be able to collect cancellation fees, but in this case it isn’t the fault of our customers, so we can’t request that,” a spokesman for lodge chain Via Inn stated.

“I don’t know if we can negotiate with Olympic officials about compensation or not.” An official with the Tokyo organising committee stated the problem surrounding lodge reservations was “under consideration”.

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“Like everybody else, it is a setback. We will struggle for a while,” stated Greg Harney, a advisor for Cartan Global, an American firm promoting packages for the Games.

“I’ve heard of only a few folks having requested for a refund, in all probability a pair, it’s encouraging.

“When the disaster is over, I’ve the sensation that folks will need to journey much more than earlier than. The curiosity for the Games will likely be even larger.”

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