Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) reported that the ratio of international rent-a-car users in Japan was just 12% of the total, however the ratio rose from 7% for first timers to 21% for regular travelers from six to ten time visits. The highest ratio was found in Okinawa with 61% or 51% even for first timers.
The ratio of international travelers who know ‘Michi no Eki (roadside station in English) was 19.4%, out of which only 8.7% visited there. Among rent-a-car users, the ratio rose to 39%, out of which 22.4% visited there in the last travel in Japan. The ratio of international travelers who do not know what is Michi no Eki’ was 66.3%, and the ratio was 48.4% even among rent-a-car users.
Among rent-a-car users who visited Michi no Eki, about 70% stopped by because they found it by chance. Major purposes to visit were rest, eating/drinking and purchase of souvenirs. The ratio of users who used Michi no Eki as a tourist information place was less than 5%. The satisfactory rate, however, was 98% including 31% of somewhat satisfied.
Satisfactions with services in Michi no Eki were high in free Wi-Fi (92%), partnership with local DMOs (71%) or partnership with local tourist spots and accommodations (59%), but low in face-to-face tourist guidance (21%), multi-languages call center, translator or app (13%), activities for international visitors (12%) or available duty-free items (11%).
JTA is making efforts to develop Michi no Eki as a base of tourist information and a gateway to local tourist spots for international rent-a-car users and also encouraging Michi no Eki operators to create and propose tour routes based on Michi no Eki.