Recruit Lifestyle, operating jalan.net, one of the Japan’s largest OTAs, announced at its jalan Forum 2016 in Tokyo on June 29 2016 that domestic accommodation booking transactions in FY2015 were up 19% year on year to 808.6 billion JPY. For jalan.net, Recruit Lifestyle aims to become an integrated travel information provider covering the entire travel process including accommodation, based on three basic business policies: to meet demand, to create demand and to work together with local.
One of the major businesses in the last fiscal year was ‘Furusato Ryoko-ken (Hometown travel coupon in English),’ a national promotion to encourage Japanese travelers to travel to local regions. Being entrusted with the special coupons from 49 local governments, jalan.net dealt with booking transactions of about 11.5 billion JPY for 930,000 bookings, which was expected to create travel consumption of about 34.5 billion JPY in total. The Cabinet Office’s survey finds that about 70% of the coupon users visited local regions they have never visited before.
The behavior support platform for young travelers (Maji ☆-bu) increased members to 580,000 in total, extending the contents to five categories by adding fishing. The activity booking service, which was launched in July last year, increased bookings in the latter half of FY2015 by 300% compared to the first half of FY2015, and the service has just started an affiliate service for local tourism organizations to introduce their contents.
For the inbound travel market, jalan.net extended the availability of multi-languages to eight and launched a new service for foreign travel companies to book inventories directly on jalan.net. Through the services, jalan.net will implement creation of demand, expansion of local spending and creation of local attractions for the inbound travel market.
For DMO, Recruit Lifestyle has established a system to follow the process from survey on exploration of tourism resources to merchandising, seamlessly supporting local marketing, development of contents, attracting travelers and local spending. Through the effort, jalan.net aims to become an integrated travel service provider.
Recruit Lifestyle also explained at the Forum its several technological innovations for the inbound travel business and media development. For the inbound travel business, a business support concept ‘Air Series’ and a multi-languages translation ‘VoiceTra.R’ were introduced. ‘VoiceTra.R,’ which is an exclusive app for tourism and customer services in four languages, will be available in a commercial way after 2017.
For media development, Recruit Lifestyle is focusing on development of Virtual Reality to inspire potential travelers. Simplified VR goggles for personal smart phones are delivered as supplements of particular travel magazines. The VR contents can be read with QR code only, not necessary for a particular app.
Jalan Forum took place for accommodation providers and tourism-related organizations in eight cities nationwide, and the Forum in Tokyo was joined by about 800 audiences from Kanto and Koshinetsu regions.In Japanese