ANA, along with its low-cost sub-brand Peach Aviation, has partnered with Airbnb to promote more adventurous domestic travel in Japan.
The three entities will work together to encourage a more casual approach to travel, and in particular to drive people to less-visited parts of Japan. Apart from supporting the companies’ own business interests, a broader aim of the initiative is to be seen to help revitalise the country’s regional economy.
The promotion is aimed at domestic travellers, and partnering with an established Japanese company such as ANA is likely to help Airbnb raise awareness of its brand. While Airbnb is a popular service for inbound tourists, Japanese travellers have been relatively slow to adopt it as an alternative to standard hotels.
A dedicated page on ANA’s website introduces the concept of Airbnb and offers mileage to first-time users of the service. Under the banner ‘Let’s travel like a local’, the page features five specific travel themes that range from staying at a traditional shophouse to experiencing agricultural life. Peach is also operating a dedicated page featuring Airbnb services recommended by influencers and a coupon for first-time users. Peach itself aims to be seen as a ‘flying train’—a service that is as easy to use as rail travel.
Home-sharing remains somewhat controversial in Japan but is set to become more mainstream following new government legislation to recognise it as an alternative to more established forms of travel accommodation. Airbnb has worked to build trust in its brand through partnerships with other large domestic companies including Mizuho Bank and Culture Convenience Club (the owner of the Tsutaya retail brand).
The government’s recent ruling means competition is set to increase in the sector. Key rivals to Airbnb include Rakuten and Booking.com. Earlier this year, Rakuten partnered with HomeAway to build awareness of its Rakuten Lifull Stay platform among international travellers.