|Westin Rusutsu Resort in Hokkaido illuminates a "Smiley " face to encourage people during Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by=Kyodo News/ Hokkaido Shimbun Press)|
[아시아뉴스통신=레악카나 기자] Westin Rusutsu Resort in Hokkaido, northern Japan, drew a smiley face on May 15, 2020, using lights in vacant rooms as part of a joint event by 10 Westin hotels across Japan, including in Tokyo and Okinawa, to pray for an early end to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Around 7 p.m., the smiley face became visible on the hotel temporarily closed since May 7 and will remain closed until the end of June.Through the Smiley illumination, the hotel is hoping guests will return after the pandemic subsides to enjoy Rusutsu, a famous ski resort in winter and popular for its lush greenery in summer.
"We also hope our employees will be able to stay positive and motivated when they look at the illumination," said Atsushi Miyazaki, the hotel's general manager.
During normal times, the hotel was packed with Chinese tourists visiting Hokkaido on bus tours during this travel season. Currently, however, 140 hotel staff were asked to stay home due to the suspension of operations.