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Panasonic Newsroom TOPPress ReleaseJTB, Panasonic and Yamato Holdings to Collaborate on Test of New "Hands-Free Travel" Service for Travelers Visiting Japan

Aug 31, 2016

JTB, Panasonic and Yamato Holdings to Collaborate on Test of New "Hands-Free Travel" Service for Travelers Visiting Japan

- This new service aims to help visitors enjoy traveling in Japan with greater freedom -

Tokyo/Osaka -- JTB Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, and Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd., leading Japanese companies in the field of travel-related services, electronics technologies and solutions, and door-to-door delivery services, respectively, today announced that they start testing in September their "LUGGAGE-FREE TRAVEL"1) service supporting "Hands-Free Travel" Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is promoting. Geared for overseas visitors to Japan, who are expected to reach 40 million a year in 2020, this service aims to create a new style of tourism, where visitors can enjoy traveling around the country with greater freedom -- without the need of hauling their luggage themselves.

The average stay of overseas visitors in Japan now exceeds 10 days2), and increasing number of them visits the countryside during their stay. That poses a challenge for tourist facilities and public transportation to deal with travelers moving around with their large-size luggage, and storage of such luggage at destinations. On the other hand, overseas visitors also face inconvenience. If they want to use a luggage delivery service, they need to fill out a delivery slip in Japanese. At present, only a limited number of locations are able to accept such service as it requires assistance of staff with multilingual skills.

The three companies teamed up to test the LUGGAGE-FREE TRAVEL service, which is designed to overcome the language barrier and service constraints it causes, aiming to allow overseas visitors to widely experience the convenience and peace-of-mind of hands-free travel, unique to Japan. This innovative service frees visitors from the trouble of filling out delivery forms and provides smooth service at airports and lodging facilities, helping not only make a trip stress-free and pleasant, but also relieve congestion and improve safety of public transportation.

The partners are promoting this hands-free service by drawing on the distinct strengths of each company. JTB is supporting the service as part of its "multicultural communication business" for providing excitement and enjoyment through bringing people together. Panasonic is proposing solutions to realize future lifestyles for 2020 and beyond, and the Yamato Group is promoting under the slogan of "Let's Enjoy Hands-Free Japan!" By combining the knowledge, know-how and technology that each company has developed, the companies will create synergies, aiming to open up new business opportunities with potential for sustained growth, and develop a new platform that allows travelers visiting Japan to enjoy hands-free travel with greater simplicity, convenience and peace-of-mind.

Notes:

  • 1) Trademark registration pending
  • 2) Source: Japan Tourism Agency, "2015 Report on Consumption Trend Survey for Foreigners Visiting Japan" For all respondents, visitors from the 20 countries covered by the survey, the average number of nights stayed in Japan was 10.2 nights.

Press Contacts:

JTB Corporation
Public Relations Office Tel.: +81 (0) 3-5796-5833
Panasonic Corporation
Public Relations Department Tel.: +81 (0) 3-3574-5664
Yamato Holdings, Co., Ltd.
Public Relations Strategy Tel.: +81 (0) 3-3248-5822

Overview of LUGGAGE-FREE TRAVEL Service

This service helps travelers visiting Japan to move around the country hands-free from their arrival to stay and return by allowing their large-size luggage to be forwarded to lodging facilities and airports without filling out delivery forms in Japanese. The service is easy to use. First, before they travel they apply for the service according to their itinerary by accessing GENESIS, JTB's reservation management system for domestic and international travel agencies. Then after arrival in Japan, they complete the procedure using an ICT terminal with multilingual support. In the future, a system will be developed to allow tourists to apply during their stay for a service combined with optional tours, such as JTB's Sunrise Tours package tour for foreign visitors, by registering the necessary information with JAPAN FITTER, available at lodging and tourist facilities in Japan. The LUGGAGE FREE TRAVEL service will be introduced beginning with Tokyo International Airport, commonly known as Haneda Airport, and steadily rolled out to airports throughout the country.


How LUGGAGE-FREE TRAVEL works

LUGGAGE-FREE TRAVEL Field Trial

A field trial will start from September 2016, with central Tokyo as the base point. This Hands-Free Travel support service will be marketed and provided to overseas visitors who, prior to traveling to Japan, purchase lodging at hotels participating in the trial via JTB's GENESIS reservation management system. A reception number and voucher with bar code will be issued to each service applicant. When they arrive in Japan, the reception number or bar code is scanned at a dedicated terminal, and the information needed by the service, such as lodging destinations, is sent via the "Traveler Relationship Management" server, operated and managed by Panasonic, to the Yamato Group's door-to-door delivery form issuing system. Yamato Transport handles operations such as collecting and delivering the checked large-size luggage. It will also be possible to check large-size luggage in the Haneda Airport International Terminal, at the LUGGAGE-FREE TRAVEL Counter in the Keikyu Tourist Information Center operated by Keikyu Corporation.

Period: Service offered in Japan: Sep. 1-Oct. 31, 2016

Objectives:
(1) Technology verification: Verification of elements such as linkage of itinerary information and delivery form issuing systems
(2) Operation verification: Verification of operability and effectiveness of luggage checking and delivery form issuing at lodging facilities, and convenience for travelers visiting Japan

Participating Facilities:
Dedicated terminals will be installed at Haneda Airport (1 location) and hotels in Tokyo (6 locations)

  • • LUGGAGE-FREE TRAVEL Counter, Keikyu Tourist Information Center,
    Haneda Airport International Terminal(Ota-ku, Tokyo)
  • • Keio Plaza Hotel(Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
  • • Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku(Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
  • • Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku(Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
  • • ibis Tokyo Shinjuku(Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
  • • Hotel Sunroute Ariake(Koto-ku, Tokyo)
  • • Hotel InterContinental Tokyo Bay(Minato-ku, Tokyo)

Transport Routes, Service Levels

No. Delivery origins
(checking facilities)
Delivery destinations Checking deadline Delivery date
and time
(1) Haneda Airport International Terminal
Keikyu Tourist Information Center
LUGGAGE-FREE TRAVEL Counter
Hotels/Japanese inns
in Tokyo
(From 7:00)
until 11:00
After 18:00 on same day
(2) Hotels in Shinjuku
(4 locations)
Haneda Airport International Terminal
JAL ABC Departure Counter
Until 8:00 16:00 on same day
*Luggage can be picked up after 16:00
(3) Hotels in Tokyo
(6 locations)
Hotels/Japanese inns
in Hakone
Until 16:00 During following day
(4) Hotels in Tokyo
(6 locations)
Hotels/Japanese inns
in Kyoto
Until 16:00 During following day
(5) Hotels in Tokyo
(6 locations)
Hotels/Japanese inns
in Osaka
Until 16:00 During following day

Equipment for Field Trial

Components Specifications
Tablet (checking terminal) 10-inch class (Windows 10), support for Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean
Dedicated printer For printing sticker-type parcel delivery slips (Japanese/English)
Network connection equipment Connection to wireless LAN via dedicated router

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