Airbnb and Toei Transportation, which is operated by the Tokyo metropolitan government (TMG), have launched a joint initiative that promotes a tram line that runs through the city, as well as Airbnb’s cultural experiences offered by hosts living in the area.
The ‘Toden Life Tourism’ collaboration focuses on the Tokyo Sakura Tram, which runs on the 12-kilometre Toden Arakawa Line from Minowabashi to Waseda. According to the government, the streetcar is the only one remaining in central Tokyo. Airbnb is offering five separate experiences, including a shamisen performance and participation in various traditional arts and crafts.
The government is promoting the initiative to further potential experience hosts with a video that documents the experiences of international tourists who have participated. Airbnb is operating a dedicated web page in Japanese as well as offering the experiences on its regular site.
Campaign’s view: The tie-up is a good way for Airbnb to raise awareness of its activities to a new audience and show how it can contribute to society in Japan, where, as in a number of markets, it has proved controversial. It also stands to benefit a less-known area of Tokyo by attracting visitors. It is encouraging that the government is at last starting to see value in joining hands with innovative services that have at some point or other been negatively branded as “disruptors”.