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Travel & Leisure

Japanese ski resorts get big face-lifts to lure foreign tourists

Operators make largest investments in facilities for decades

Heated seats on this six-person lift at Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture, northwestern Japan, are helping pull in big-spending foreign tourists. 

YAMAGATA, Japan -- Japanese ski resorts are making their biggest investments in decades to make facilities more competitive in the growing market for foreign tourists.

The number of visitors to the nation's ski resorts may have fallen 40% from its 1990s peak, but increasing numbers of overseas visitors are injecting new life into the industry by flocking to destinations such as Niseko in Hokkaido, northern Japan, for their powdery snow.

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