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Exploring Japan from home - a new experience

October 13, 2020

Japan Travel, a leading Japan tourist guide, is launching Japan Travel At Home, an online experience service that allows you to explore the Land of the Rising Sun, all from the comfort of your home!

The idea was conceived when the coronavirus pandemic brought the global travel industry to a standstill. Japan Travel’s Travel Agency Director, Jerome Lee, felt the pressures of a thriving industry upended as customers cancelled their travels to Japan one by one.

“Japan was experiencing an inbound travel boom in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but the onset of the pandemic resulted in multiple travel cancellation requests - travel was going to be out of question for them with the onset of the pandemic,” remembers Lee. “And so, we had to find another way to allow our customers to experience the magic of Japan again.”

“What we found was that people are still dreaming about travelling, and were enquiring with us about itineraries they can purchase once international travel reopens post-Covid,” Lee says. “However, 90% of these prospective customers are afraid to make monetary commitments at this stage if they can’t confirm their dates of travel. The Japan Travel At Home service allows customers to explore their dream destination online, where our hosts take customers on a tour, or of a unique cultural experience.”

Immerse yourself in Japan experience

Japan Travel At Home is kicking off with 17 products, and will continue to expand its portfolio as it searched for and curates more experiences for its audience. With the release, customers can experience and interact with guides in real time on iconic Japanese activities - exploring Shibuya Crossing at night, participating in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, or even interacting with the Last Samurai of Japan, an experience that has garnered high interest within the Japan Travel community.

Dunja Martinovic, eCommerce and Product Development Manager at Japan Travel, believes that a great Japan Travel At Home product provides a fine balance between high-quality live stream, a reasonable price range, and engaging, interactive experiences.

“What makes live Japan Travel At Home tours different from watching videos on Netflix and YouTube,” says Martinovic, “is that we offer a high level of interactivity between customer and host. Couple that with expertise and our having ferreted out the most interesting spots, we have a service that is starting to resonate with our target market.”

Both Lee and Martinovic see the Japan Travel At Home initiative not only as a short-term solution that cures the travel bug, but also as a long-term opportunity for the inbound tourism industry in Japan.

“Online experiences are going to be effective as a marketing and screening tool for future in-person travel”, says Lee. “Imagine a scenario where a customer attends an online experience first, to make sure that it is really a place or activity they want to expend energy visiting. Both in terms of time and cost, a review of potential trip highlights makes so much more sense than ending up somewhere you regret having booked. That in itself is an exciting new way to plan a trip of a lifetime.”