ORIX launches ICT service for foreign tourists

Nagoya: Amid the record-breaking tourism boom in Japan, the country is taking a sophisticated approach to help with its inbound travelers. Orix, a major financial service provider in Japan, is spearheading these efforts by launching an interactive smartphone service which offers foreign tourists fun and easy access to local travel information in multiple languages.

“Foreign travelers usually visit multiple cities and look for that city’s information on their smartphones. Despite gathering information prior to their arrival; they often have trouble finding the specific information they need via smartphones or tablets. And that is when our system comes handy. With this new service, visitors can simply tap or scan the QR code printed on the sheet with their phones at local tourist information centers which will instantly guide them to local travel pages and information,” said Masaki Wanigawa, an official from Orix.

Typically, each regional district would take different approaches to introduce regional attractions to visitors.

But with this new service that Orix developed, a standard platform using the latest technology can be used across the country in cooperation with each region.

“Excellent services. It’s nice to see friendly faces and the app works really well and I am sure it will help us get around,” a tourist said.

“I really enjoy it here in Nagoya and it’s good to be able to come into a tourist office where they can speak English and explain things to us really well. Looks like an easy place to get around,” another tourist added.

One of the popular tourist spots benefiting from Orix’s service is the town of Arimatsu, which is considered to be the historical center of Japanese tie-dying workmanship in the city of Nagoya. This traditional tie-dying method began in 1608 and its iconic indigo monotone made it a popular fabric for summer kimonos worn by ordinary people.

There are over 100 different methods of Arimatsu tie-dying and it’s used for dyeing silk, cotton, and synthetics.

“We use various pamphlets to introduce Nagoya’s attractions such as Toyota’s commemorative museum, the largest Planetarium in the world, and regional foods known as “Samurai Cuisine.” With this new system, tourists can easily gain all this information at once using their smartphones,” said Yoko Itoh, Nagoya City Office.

The service is expected to expand to 70 different regions across Japan by September this year, as the country’s hospitality is taking on a new form in the era of mobile technology. (ANI)