Time-stamp: "2010/09/06 14:03:51(JST) by yoshinov"
Service industry is now a key industry of Japan. It covers more than 70% of Japan's GDP. Yet, its productivity increase is lower than manufacturing industry. Therefore its improvement is urgently required.
To find a resolution, AIST has established Center for Service Research. This Center is carrying out studies to create new service through scientific and engineering approach. To promote tourism, it is essential to obtain objective data for service productivity.
However it is not an easy task. Center for Service Research is
conducting R & D, "Collecting and accumulating objective data by
introducing IT services", through an engineering approach.
For promotion of tourism, we show you one example of our research and study. This is our collaborative work with Kinosaki Hot Spring in Hyogo Prefecture. Yukata Credit at Kinosaki Hot Spring Activating the region by Service engineering:
Kinosaki Hot Spring is located in San-in area in the western part
of Honshu Island. Boasting a long history of 1400 years, it is still
maintaining an atmosphere of a traditional spa resort. Attracting one
million tourists every year, Kinosaki offers lots of funs to stroll
through the street and to hop around several spas wearing traditional
In Kinosaki, each hotel has its unique pattern on Yukata. Because their hotel is easily identified by its Yukata pattern, tourists can go out and enjoy shopping and dining at specified shops and restaurants with no cash. And payments will be settled at the hotel when they check-out. Yet this service was limited to specified shops and restaurants only.
To avail this service to more and more shops and restaurants, Center for Service Research has developed "Yukata Credit" jointly with Kinosaki Hot Spring. This has been realized based on the service information developed by Center for Service Research.
Kinosaki Hot spring has 7 public spas. Hotel guests used to
receive tickets for each spa at hotel reception and go out with
By newly developed Yukata Credit service, tourists can enjoy convenient cash-free shopping and dining by way of a transport IC card or Mobile phone in stead of cash.
Yukata Credit system can provide various types of services according to the needs of the area. Here we show you the example of services by bar-code ticket for spa and IC card for shopping.
At the hotel reception, bar-code spa ticket is issued. This ticket
contains the guest information such as gender, age etc.
Formerly, tourists were obliged to have each ticket for each spa. Now they can enjoy any spas any time with this single ticket.
Hotel is also prepared to provide IC card.
So, if the hotel guests do not have their own IC card, they can use this IC card by depositing some amount. A sticker containing guest information is attached to the IC card. Now Yukata Credit is ready.
When entering spa, bar-code is recognized by bar-code
By this system, it becomes easy to know the number of visitors of each spa, frequency of the visit, outline of the visitors etc.Therefore these data may lead to the possible introduction of the further enhanced service.
Also it is easy to grasp the congestion situation of the each spa. So, hotel guests can obtain appropriate information and guidance before they go out.
Yukata Credit also has the facility of audio guide named Kinosaki-Guide. Tourists can enjoy strolling around the streets with this audio-guide. This facility has Japanese version as well as English and Korean version. When this audio-guide facility is enhanced, tourists can enjoy many kinds of contents such as popular animation character.
Find a fancy shop while touring spa? You can make shopping by
Yukata Credit IC card. No cash is required. This also saves the
payment trouble. While shopping, you can also settle the balance or
withdraw necessary amount from IC card. Tourists also may settle the
IC card when they check out the hotel. According to the needs of the
area or circumstances, Yukata Credit is ready to provide flexible
services such as incentives, discounts etc.
The service of Yukata Credit is also applicable to your own IC card or mobile phone with payment facility.
This service is very convenient as I can go out without cash. I also feel happy to receive many benefits such as discounts and so on.
I hope people will enjoy staying in Kinosaki. Yukata Credit is the most convenient way to enjoy spas and shopping. Younger generations have no hesitation to use IC card. In case the tourists need petty cash for soft drinks or whatever, we can provide cash out from the IC card. These actions will enhance communications with customers and make friendly relations.
I believe this is a very convenient system for tourists. In Kinosaki, we have been making our comprehensive effort all together among hotels, shops, and spas. This is the reason why we could achieve this system. Formerly, we have been doing business activities based on our past experiences and intuition. By introducing this system, it is made possible to acquire objective data. This will help us to make Kinosaki more attractive.
The introduction of IT system at Kinosaki Hot Spring provides lots of advantages for tourists and introducer. By this system, detailed data is collected. This data will be analyzed and applied for attracting more tourists, promoting communications with customers, speeding up payment procedures and cost reduction. Also this system makes it possible to measure the effect of the campaign event or other programs and will lead to the activation of the area corresponding to PDCA cycle.
We are collecting and analyzing customer behavior data to create and promote communications with the customer. In order to cope with the current needs of the time, AIST is proceeding with the service engineering in historical town of Kinosaki .