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Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association, Toyama Prefectural University, Fujitsu Develop "Discover TOYAMA"

App to improve tourist satisfaction with Toyama prefecture, supporting aim of making Toyama, "the Switzerland by the Sea," a tourist destination of choice

Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association,Toyama Prefectural University,Fujitsu Limited

Toyama and Tokyo, Japan, March 17, 2017

The Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association, Toyama Prefectural University, and Fujitsu Limited today announced the joint development of the smartphone application "Discover TOYAMA" for tourists visiting Toyama prefecture, which is available from the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association beginning today.

With this application, the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association will offer users services such as coupons and tourist information suited to their location within Toyama and the time of day, based on GPS and time and date information from the smartphone and the tourist's personal attributes, entered when the app is downloaded.

Through this application, the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association and Toyama Prefectural University will collect and analyze such data as the personal attributes of travelers to Toyama and the details of their trips, without identifying individuals. Construction and utilization of a Toyama tourism-related database will lead to improvements in tourists' satisfaction with their visits to Toyama and to increased activity in the tourism industry in the prefecture.

Picture: Using the Discover TOYAMA appPicture: Using the Discover TOYAMA app

Background

In Toyama, along with maintaining and increasing the effects of the opening of a new Shinkansen (bullet train) line, there are issues in accurately targeting foreign tourists, who are expected to increase in number accompanying the hosting of consecutive international sports competitions. In addition, with a declining population due to falling birth rates and an aging population, there is an urgent demand for the creation of systems that aim to increase local economic activity by expanding the tourist population, as well as a need to grow Toyama's tourism into a general industry.

To that end, the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association was registered as a Japanese Destination Management/Marketing Organization (DMO) Candidate(1) in May 2016, as the leader in creating tourist regions throughout Toyama, beginning tourism marketing activities and tourism management for the whole of Toyama. Specifically, the association is carrying out activities, such as surveys, to continually collect and analyze data for insight regarding the actual tourist experience, and is working with a variety of related parties to promote the strategic creation of tourist regions.

Purpose in Offering "Discover TOYAMA"

With the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen high-speed rail link in March 2015, the number of guests staying in Toyama has increased significantly, growing at a rate of 14% over the previous year in 2015, but pre-existing issues remain, such as the lower number of guests in winter compared with other seasons, or the fact that the time and amount spent by travelers in the prefecture is below the national average.

In order to overcome these issues, the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association aims to create excitement about excursions to the prefecture, increase the number of guests staying in the prefecture, and increase tourist consumption levels in the prefecture by analyzing tourist movement to provide services that increase levels of tourist satisfaction.

Overview of the "Discover TOYAMA" App

1. Name:

Discover TOYAMA

2. Proposed use:

Based on existing tourist data held by the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association, the application will suggest an itinerary in Toyama suited to each tourist. Once downloaded onto the tourist's smartphone, the app will collect location information outdoors through GPS and indoors, such as in shopping malls or museums, through beacons installed in facilities.

Based on location information, the time, and the tourist's personal attributes, the app will notify the tourist of destinations that are determined to offer a high level of satisfaction, based on the results of analyses of actual tourist data. In addition, the application screen changes according to the time and place, to effectively give the user content related to tourist spots and access to services such as discount coupons.

3. System configuration:

Toyama Prefectural University developed the application using Fujitsu's place services(2) as a platform, which automatically make a variety of contents available according to time and place, while the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association will make the application available and handle operations.

4. Content (at initial release):

  • Tourist spot recommendations
  • Tourist spot search within Toyama
  • Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
  • Tonami Tulip Fair
  • Shin Minato Fisherman's Wharf
  • Discount coupons (JOYFUL CARD)
  • Tourist survey

Picture: App content pagesPicture: App content pages

5. Launch date:

March 17, 2017

Role of Each Organization

Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association

The Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association will provide tourist information for various spots within Toyama, as well as app contents. The association will transmit information to users depending on time and place, based on location information collected from the smartphone's GPS, as well as the user's personal attributes, collected through a survey. In addition, it will analyze tourist movement based on application usage records and GPS information history to collect and analyze marketing data.

Toyama Prefectural University, Department of Information Systems Engineering, Iwamoto Laboratory and Sakakibara Laboratory

The two laboratories designed the overall application and made the embedded html applications. In addition, they will analyze GPS information history and usage records, working with the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association to build a unique tourist database related to tourism in Toyama. They will analyze this database using AI technology, and develop logic to provide recommendations and content suited to the user.

Fujitsu

Fujitsu is providing its place services, which make a variety of applications available automatically based on time and place, as the platform for Discover TOYAMA. This platform determines the tourist's situation-time and place-through the smartphone, and can offer them the optimal services. In addition, it enables the Discover TOYAMA application to receive the delivery, while within Toyama, of new contents without updating itself (supported from April 2017).

Figure: Discover TOYAMA system configurationFigure: Discover TOYAMA system configuration

Future Plans

By providing this application, the Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association will collect and analyze data such as the personal attributes of tourists that visit Toyama and the details of their excursions, and by building a unique, tourism-related database of information such as tourists' personal attributes and their trip preferences, it can repeatedly test the effectiveness of its promotions in each region, to optimally promote tourism.

Toyama aims for tourist spending of 206.7 billion yen, with a total number of 5.2 million guests by 2019. (Based on the new Toyama prefecture tourism promotion strategy plan, established in 2015.)

Related Websites

Tourism Information in Toyama website

"Fujitsu Develops Platform Technology that Speeds Development of On-Site Information Exchange Services," (Fujitsu Laboratories press release dated April 15, 2014)

"Fujitsu Develops Information Device Technology to Automatically Deliver and Run Applications Needed at Particular Time and Place," (Fujitsu Laboratories press release dated July 19, 2011)


  • [1] Japanese Destination Management/Marketing Organization (DMO) Candidate

    A DMO is an organization that creates tourism regions. In December 2015, the Japan Tourism Agency created the Japanese DMO Candidate Corporation Registration System as a system to support the establishment of DMOs and their initiatives.

  • [2] Place services

    A smartphone-application execution platform technology developed by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

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All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 17 March, 2017
City: Toyama and Tokyo, Japan
Company: Toyama Prefectural Tourism Association ,Toyama Prefectural University ,Fujitsu Limited