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Yoshiharu Hoshino

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Class of 2023, Japan

CEO of Hoshino Resorts

Share the joy of Yoshiharu Hoshino’s winning moment at Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Japan.

Yoshiharu Hoshino revitalized resort properties while giving back to their communities.

Tourism can be a lifeline for communities — or a way to extract wealth from them. Yoshiharu Hoshino, CEO of Hoshino Resorts, had a different vision. Through stakeholder tourism, he wanted customers, local residents, employees and investors to receive their fair return by tying each of his properties to existing tourist attractions, thereby increasing the local economic impact.

Yoshiharu’s family ran a long-established hot-spring resort, and he enjoyed the natural surroundings. After studying radical management theories at Cornell University, he returned to Japan and, at age 31, became president of the family enterprise. Despite fierce opposition from relatives and local industry traditionalists, Yoshiharu replaced the family executive management and created a flat organizational structure — a testament to his creative, disruptive vision. Employees became more motivated, and business results improved.

Yoshiharu later oriented the business around “resort management, not ownership.” This revitalized properties that had underperformed since Japan’s economic bubble burst in the 1980s. Hoshino Resorts was later chosen to manage all the hot-spring resorts in which a global investment bank had invested, triggering rapid growth.

In 2013, Yoshiharu created Hoshino Resort REIT, a long-term property-owning entity traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It was the first real estate investment trust in Japan that allowed individuals to invest in the tourism industry. Hoshino Resorts now operates 63 facilities in Japan and abroad.

Continuity is the most important code of conduct for an entrepreneur.