The 7th WIT (Web In Travel) Japan & North Asia 2018 opened in Tokyo on June 28, joined by key persons from OTA, hospitality industry, airlines, local experience platforms or local DMOs, to talk about the theme of ‘Better Travel.’
On the first day, a session about private accommodation (minpaku) in Japan was organized according to enforcement of the Private Accommodation Law on June 15 2018. Kenichi Shibata, Venture Republic COO, said that the private accommodation market in Japan is potential from long-term point of view, although it is chaos right now because of drastic reduction of Japanese hosts after the Law was enforced. According to the statistics in 2017, international private accommodation users in Japan accounted for 16% of all visitors, while Japanese users just for 0.3% of all domestic travelers. “The new law may encourage more Japanese users to select private accommodation because it secures safe stay,” Shibata said.
Shinichi Tatebayashi, SQUEEZE CEO, said as a solution provider for private accommodation, “The new law has a big impact on our business. We will take advantage of both the new private accommodation law and the conventional Hotel Business Law for our business.” Also he showed his view that new properties with new concepts will increase in Japan.
Omi Suzuki, Head of E-Commerce and Travel vertical, Facebook Japan, explained that postings on Instagram have already reached 80 million a day, and video postings have particularly been increasing. In the first and second quarters of 2017, video viewers were up 2.2 times year on year. “Movie is more powerful than before in travel,” he added. Introducing IGTV, a new Instagram service, he emphasized that the vertical screen for video viewing is very friendly with smart phone.
WIT hosted annual startup competition with 22 candidates from nine countries, out of which nine startups proceeded to the semi-final competition on the first day. Out of the nine, three startups of Airbuy (B2B dutu-free platform), Shoot My Travel (local experience with professional photographer) and Travelsify (DNA contents platform for hotel). After the final judgment on the second day, Shoot My Travel became a winner.