JTB, Panasonic, Yamato eye luggage transport service for tourists

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18:53 31 August 2016

TOKYO, Aug. 31, Kyodo

JTB Corp., Panasonic Corp. and Yamato Holdings Co. said Wednesday they are combining to launch a cloud-based service enabling foreign tourists to travel in Japan without having to carry their heavy luggage around.

From the end of March, when travelers arrive in Japan they can have their luggage delivered by Yamato to hotels and airports without the need to fill out delivery slips. Their travel information can be obtained from a platform developed by JTB and Panasonic on a tablet that can read barcodes.

To use the “luggage-free travel” service, foreign tourists need to register their travel information and apply for it beforehand via travel agency JTB’s reservation management system and get unique barcodes.

An increasing number of Japanese companies are trying to capitalize on a recent surge in foreign tourists from countries such as China, as the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to boost tourism with its goal of attracting 40 million visitors in 2020.

After trial tests from September through October at Tokyo’s Haneda airport and hotels in Tokyo, the three companies plan to launch it to the public by the end of March.

JTB and Panasonic also plan to launch a multilingual concierge service that uses a tablet and provides information on tourist destinations, hotels, and travel routes. Following its scheduled launch by the end of fiscal 2016, the two companies aim to have it available at 5,000 locations across Japan by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympics and Paralympics.

Panasonic Executive Officer Masahiro Ido expressed hope that the combination of information and communication technology with tourism can boost satisfaction for foreign tourists.

“We hope to encourage tourists to visit not just Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto but other regional areas as well,” Ido said at a press conference.


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