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 AsiaYo Co., Ltd. partner on vacation rental business

Will begin offering vacation rental services to accommodate travelers to Japan from the Asian region

Tokyo, 2017-Jul-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc., a Rakuten Group company providing vacation rental services, and AsiaYo Co., Ltd., operator of “AsiaYo.com,” Taiwan’s largest vacation rental reservation site, today announced that the two companies have agreed to form a business collaboration in the vacation rental business.

In this collaboration, Rakuten LIFULL STAY will provide property listings from its tentatively-titled “Vacation Stay” vacation rental service to AsiaYo.com, making it possible for users of AsiaYo.com to reserve private lodging facilities listed on Vacation Stay. AsiaYo.com is a vacation rental reservation site from Taiwan that has achieved rapid growth in the three years since its launch in 2014. AsiaYo.com operates not only in Taiwan, but in South Korea and Thailand as well, with plans to expand into other Asian countries and regions. Through the collaboration, the two companies will promote travel to Japan from Asia, including Taiwan, raising awareness of the various regions of Japan and increasing the number of visitors to these areas, while aiming to provide vacation rental services that can meet the growing demand for lodgings.

Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc. aims to launch its vacation rental service after the new Private Lodgings Business Law is expected to come into effect in January 2018, and is proactively working to expand its stock of vacation rental properties in Japan. AsiaYo is focusing on enhancing the various services it provides through its vacation rental reservation site, such as its native language support for Asian travelers (in Chinese, Korean and English). Both companies are working to build an environment in which owners can offer their properties as vacation rental properties with peace of mind by enhancing their services aimed at travelers to Japan from the Asian region.

According to data released by the Japan National Tourism Organization*1, the number of travelers to Japan from Taiwan surpassed 4 million people for the first time in FY2016, making it the third largest source of tourist traffic behind China and South Korea. In addition to the growing number of visitors to Japan from Taiwan, AsiaYo.com users tend to use private lodgings in groups, such as with their families or friends, and prefer properties with multiple rooms. For this reason, demand for vacant house vacation rentals to be offered by Rakuten LIFULL STAY is expected to be high.

Going forward, Rakuten LIFULL STAY and AsiaYo will continue to offer a broad range of lodging options to meet the rising demand for inbound travel to Japan from Asia, 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

About 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:             Services related to vacation rental platform
Date of establishment:         March 2017
Website:                              https://rakuten-lifull-stay.co.jp/

About AsiaYo
Company name:                 AsiaYo Co., Ltd
Address:                            18-3, Lane 77, Section 2, Dunhua South Road, Taipei, Taiwan
Representative:                 CEO Cheng Chao-Kang
Details of business:
AsiaYo Co., Ltd. runs “AsiaYo.com,” the largest vacation rental reservation site in Taiwan. It has more than 13,000 listed rooms in Taiwan, with the number of reservations growing 20% on average every month since it began operating in 2014. In addition, the number of monthly visits to AsiaYo.com has surpassed 2 million unique sessions, an increase of roughly four times on the previous year. The company has set forth the vision of providing a matching platform that can deliver the greatest travel experiences to travelers.
Date of establishment:       June 2013
Website:                             https://asiayo.com/

Source: Rakuten Inc.

Rakuten and LIFULL enter the vacation rental business in Japan; establishes Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc.

Rakuten LIFULL STAY represents innovative step into sharing economy in Japan

Tokyo, 2017-Jun-24 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Rakuten, Inc. and LIFULL Co., Ltd. today (June 22, 2017) announced that the two companies will enter the vacation rental business in Japan with the establishment of Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc., a subsidiary of RAKUTEN LIFULL STAY PTE. LTD., which is jointly owned by Rakuten and LIFULL. (Investment ratio: Rakuten: 51%; LIFULL: 49%).

As a vacation rental intermediary registered with the Japan Tourism Agency in accordance with the recently passed Private Lodgings Business Law, Rakuten LIFULL STAY will develop a new platform connecting owners of unoccupied homes or rooms who are looking to provide accommodation with people who are wishing to rent. The service, tentatively titled “Vacation Stay,” will provide property owners with new opportunities to make use of their unutilized assets and give users a greater variety of options for accommodation.

By offering a diverse range of more than 70 services, Rakuten has built a user base of approximately 90 million members in Japan and developed a strong network with local governments nationwide. LIFULL operates a real estate and housing information site with around 8 million properties listed and has a network of more than 22,000 affiliated real estate stores. Representing an innovative step into the sharing economy for both companies, Rakuten LIFULL STAY will draw on Rakuten’s membership base as well as LIFULL’s resources and expertise in the real estate industry.

To make it easier for individuals or organizations to make their properties available through the service, Rakuten LIFULL STAY also plans to offer comprehensive support options, assisting with everything from the preparation of properties to day-to-day operations. Operational burden will also be reduced through the development of outsourcing options with external partners. It is hoped these services will result in more properties being made available and the creation of an environment in which the service can be used safely and with greater peace of mind by guests.

In recent years, the growing number of vacant homes in Japan caused by the declining population and stagnating housing market has become a major social issue. At the same time, Japan is facing an acute shortage of accommodation as tourist numbers grow in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Increasing the amount of accommodation available is a pressing issue that the government hopes to address in part through the new Private Lodgings Business Law. Under the law, individuals and businesses meeting certain requirements will be able to utilize their unoccupied homes or rooms to provide vacation rental services without needing a license under the Inns and Hotels Act.

By providing a vacation rental service through Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Rakuten and LIFULL aim to meet the broad demand for accommodation from both domestic and overseas tourists, and address the serious problem of vacant homes while supporting the development and expansion of the accommodation industry.

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 platform
Date of establishment: March 2017
Website: https://www.rakuten-lifull-stay.co.jp

About Rakuten
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1 billion members around the world. Since 2012, Rakuten has ranked in the top 20 of Forbes Magazine’s annual “World’s Most Innovative Companies” list. The Rakuten Group has over 14,000 employees, and operations in 29 countries and regions.
For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

About LIFULL
LIFULL Co., Ltd. (former company name: “NEXT Co., Ltd.”; TSE First Section: 2120) is a company that operates real estate and housing information services. It was established in 1997 based on an aspiration to change the real estate industry. Its main service is the operation of LIFULL HOME’S, a website providing real estate and housing information, which provides the industry’s most extensive library of property information in Japan. * LIFULL has been expanding its domains from its mainstay housing business, to peripheral areas including nursing care, interior, and insurance. The company has expanded LIFULL HOME’S overseas and is operating Trovit, one of the world’s largest aggregation sites. LIFULL has operations in 53 countries.
LIFULL Group’s corporate message is “Make every LIFE FULL.” LIFULL provides “LIFE solutions” that will offer security and pleasure to people around the world.
For more information visit https://LIFULL.com/en/

Based on the survey conducted by Sankei Medix (announced on January 26, 2017)

SOURCE: Rakuten, Inc.