Rakuten LIFULL STAY and China’s Tujia to form business collaboration in the vacation rental business

Aiming to expand the vacation rental market in Japan by strengthening services for Chinese tourists

Tokyo, 2017-Aug-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rakuten Group vacation rental business Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc. and a group company of Tujia, operator of one of China’s leading vacation rental online platforms “Tujia,” today (AUGUST 2, 2017) reached an agreement to form a business collaboration in the vacation rental business.

Based on the agreement, Rakuten LIFULL STAY will provide Japanese property listings from its tentatively-titled “Vacation Stay” vacation rental service to Tujia. Tujia Japan will aim to expand inbound demand by promoting Japanese tourist destinations to Tujia users. In addition, the two companies will also share information on trends in tourism from China to Japan and on popular Japanese destinations for Chinese tourists with the goal of enabling the efficient acquisition of new vacation rental properties. Attractive vacation rental facilities and unique vacation rental experiences (such as farming and traditional Japanese crafts) will also be offered to Chinese travelers visiting Japan. The two companies will collaborate to strengthen services for Chinese tourists, with the aim of expanding the vacation rental market in Japan.

Tujia was launched by Tujia Online Information Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. in 2011 and now has over 500,000 vacation listings in 1,100 cities in 70 countries. In addition to China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the company has also established offices in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Tujia Japan launched its Japanese language website in March 2017 and aims to acquire 200,000 Japan-based vacation rental property listings by 2025, and become the leading vacation rental platform for the Chinese tourists wishing to visit Japan.

Rakuten LIFULL STAY is now working to expand its listings of Japanese vacation rental properties and aims to launch its vacation rental service after the new Private Lodgings Business Law in Japan comes into effect after January 2018. The business collaboration with Tujia Japan is part of Rakuten LIFULL STAY’s strategy to partner with companies providing vacation rental services in countries and regions around the world in order to efficiently provide information about Japan-based vacation rental listings to users overseas.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan in fiscal year 2016 was 6.37 million, an increase of 27.6% over the previous year*1. Going forward, Tujia Japan and Rakuten LIFULL STAY will offer a broad range of lodging options to meet the rising demand for accommodation from Chinese visitors to Japan, contributing to the development of the vacation rental market.

*1 Number of Foreign Visitors to Japan (2003 – 2017), Japan National Tourism Organization
http://www.jnto.go.jp/jpn/statistics/since2003_tourists.pdf

Overview of Rakuten LIFULL STAY
Company name:            Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc.
Office location:              Otemachi Financial City Grand Cube 3F 1-9-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative:             Representative Director Munekatsu Ota
Details of business:       Providing services related to vacation rental platform
Date of establishment: March 2017
Website:                        https://www.rakuten-lifull-stay.co.jp/

Overview of Tujia Japan Co., Ltd.
Office location:              402 International Bldg. 1-6-1 Kanda Izumicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative:             Representative Director Tomoko Suzuki
Date of establishment: April 2016
Details of business:       Vacation rental services platform and related businesses
Website:                        http://content.tujia.com/Japan/Index.htm

By offering a safe, courteous and clean service that its guests, hosts, and all related parties can enjoy with peace of mind and by adhering to Japanese laws, Tujia Japan aims to become a company that plays an important role in Japanese society. Tujia Japan takes the experience of the Tujia group in building a vacation rental services business in the Chinese domestic market and applies it to Japan. The Japanese platform operator uses surveys and analysis of vacation rental demand in the Japan market to prepare appealing vacation service facilities and create website information that promotes Japan as an attractive vacation destination for the purpose of securing business from Chinese visitors to Japan Tujia is positioned to create new vacation rental services in Japan by working in cooperation with local governments and Japanese businesses.

Overview of Tujia Online Information Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd
Office location:              Beijing, China
Representative:             Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Justin Luo
Date of establishment: December 2011
Details of business:       Vacation rental services platform and related businesses
Website:                        https://www.tujia.com/

Source: Rakuten Inc.

Rakuten LIFULL STAY and HomeAway to form a business collaboration in the vacation rental industry

Aiming to expand domestic vacation rental accommodation and increase inbound tourism 

Tokyo, 2017-Jul-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc., a Rakuten Group company providing vacation rental services, and HomeAway, Inc., an Expedia Group company operating one of the largest vacation rental sites in the world, today (JULY 3, 2017) announced that the two companies have reached an agreement to form a business collaboration in the vacation rental industry.

Based on the agreement, Rakuten LIFULL STAY, which is a subsidiary of a company jointly owned by Rakuten, Inc. and LIFULL Co., Ltd., will provide Japanese property listings from its tentatively-titled “Vacation Stay” service to HomeAway. HomeAway will focus on driving demand for Japanese properties by promoting travel to Japan through its platform. By collaborating on listings, customer-acquisition and sales, the two companies will provide a service that is attractive to both property owners and visitors.

In recent years, with the Japanese government supporting various policies aimed at promoting Japan as a tourist destination, visitor numbers are increasing. In order to meet the growing need for a diverse range of accommodation, the new Private Lodgings Business Law, which makes it possible to operate vacation rental services, was passed on June 9, 2017. With the passing of the law, Rakuten LIFULL STAY and HomeAway have agreed to collaborate in the sector to expand options for accommodation for overseas visitors, raise awareness of Japan’s tourist spots beyond the major cities, and increase the number of visitors to these areas.

Rakuten LIFULL STAY also plans to connect to LIFULL HOME’S Akiya Bank*1, a platform which gathers information from databases of unoccupied homes run by local governments. This will give owners of unoccupied homes in regional areas registered on akiya banks the option of utilizing their homes as vacation rentalproperties or by providing experience-based accommodation, contributing to the development of the economy and tourism in the region.

Utilizing their respective networks, Rakuten LIFULL STAY and HomeAway will provide a service that meets diverse accommodation needs and expands the accommodation market through the vacation rental business, while contributing to further growth in inbound tourism and the promotion of Japan as a tourist destination.

*1 “LIFULL HOME’S Akiya Bank”: A platform which gathers information from unoccupied home banks operated by local governments. The platform centralizes the information and provides it in a standardized format to make it possible for users to search and compare properties. The project is being developed by LIFULL and has been adopted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The project is planned to launch in summer 2017.

Overview of Rakuten LIFULL STAY
Company name: Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc.
Address: Otemachi Financial City Grand Cube 3F
1-9-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Representative Director  Munekatsu Ota
Details of business: Providing services related to vacation rental platformDate of establishment: March 2017
Website: https://www.rakuten-lifull-stay.co.jp

Overview of HomeAway
Company name: HomeAway, Inc.
Headquarters: Austin, Texas, U.S.
Representative: CEO  John Kim
Details of business:  HomeAway is one of the world’s leading vacation rental companies and is part of Expedia Group, which has its headquarters in Austin, Texas, U.S. We provide and manage a platform through which users can make bookings at over two million unique vacation rental homes in 190 countries. We specify in “Whole Vacation” and helping friends and family who travel together to create unforgettable memories. One of our strengths is our high cost performance when booking for several travelers together. We also provide an easy online service for owners that covers the whole process from house registration to reservation management.
Date of establishment: February 2005
Website (English) : https://www.homeaway.com/
Website (Japanese): https://www.homeaway.co.jp/

Source: Rakuten Inc.