otomo-inc.

“otomo” a private tour service for inbound travelers is officially released!

2019.01.22

Press Release

otomoのサービスコンセプトのイメージ

“otomo” a private tour service for inbound travelers is officially released!
otomo has started accepting reservation for over 150 tour plans in 4 prefectures.
Released Anniversary Campaign: Free-private tours for 150 groups (max. 900 people)!

We inform you otomo Inc. (Location: Bunkyo ward, Tokyo / Representative: Yuki Hiratsuka) has officially released a private tour service for inbound travelers from today. We have started accepting tours for over 150 tour plans in the Kanto region (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama).
To celebrate the official release of the service, we will hold a campaign for inbound travelers to  experience our private tours. The campaign will offer a free private tour for 150 groups (max.  900 people).

Service Overview

otomo is a private tour service introducing people with foreign language skills across Japan as a guide for travelers visiting Japan. We offer tours with varying themes to meet the diverse needs of travelers. With tour guides selected exclusively by the traveler, we can respond to the diverse requests of travelers. In addition, tour plans are carefully created by our original field surveys, and all guides are selected after an office interview.
You can experience a high-quality private tour, at a lower or equivalent price as a group tour.

Service Background

In January 2018, the revised interpreter guide law was enforced allowing anyone to engage in guide work without a foreign language qualification (which was previously required). In February 2018, otomo started test marketing with a limited number of guides and tour reservations to cope with the rapidly increasing diversifying needs of foreign visitors in Japan in recent years. Both travelers and guides who have participated in the tours have been highly satisfied, leading to the official release of otomo today. (Details below)
Based on the corporate philosophy of “To Enrich Travel and Local Community by Creating New Travel Style,” otomo aims to improve the experience of inbound travelers and create opportunities for foreign language talent. We will expand our service across Japan.

Service Details

The traveler requests a tour by selecting their desired plan and tour guide from the otomo website. The guide will receive and respond to the tour request within 24 hours if accepted the tour is established. The tour fee varies depending on the guide selected, however, does not change according to the number participants. We also offer a booking method where otomo will choose a guide meeting the tourist’s requirements after the booking has been made. From January 2019, tours are conducted in 4 languages, English, Chinese, Cantonese, and Korean.
Regardless of the nationality, occupation or licenses, anyone*1 can register as a tour guide on our website as long as a person is over 18 years old and has a minimum level of foreign language skills. Guide registration can be done on our website. After registration, ID confirmation documents and an interview are required. As of January 2019, there are over 200 registered guides (30% of whom have licensed interpreter guides) ranging from 20 to 60 years of age. Occupations include students, office employees, housewives, and retirees. In the future, as our service expands, we will start accepting tour guide registrations across Japan.

Tour Plan Map (150 plans in 4 prefectures)
Tour Plan Map (150 plans in 4 prefectures)

Photos related to tour plans in Tokyo
Photos related to tour plans in Tokyo

Photos related to tour plans in Kanagawa
Photos related to tour plans in Kanagawa

Photos related to tour plans in Chiba
Photos related to tour plans in Chiba

Photos related to tour plans in Saitama
Photos related to tour plans in Saitama

Service Background Details

The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has increased consecutively for 7 years from 2011, exceeding 30 million*2 people in 2018. The inbound market is expected to continue to grow. In addition to an increase in travelers, the diverse needs of travelers can be identified through the following*3:
– The number of tourists who visited Japan more than once (repeaters): 17.61 million people (3.3 times of 2012)
– Percentage of travelers visiting on personal trips: 75.7% (14.9% increase from 2012)
– The number of tourists in rural areas: 32.6 million people (3.8 times of 2012/2.6 times for urban areas)
If there are 263 million foreigners with residence permits in Japan (including 320,000 foreign students) *4, we estimate there are several million foreigners who can speak foreign languages across Japan. Along with the 24,000 registered interpreter guides*5, we expect the foreign talents will meet the diverse needs of the rapidly increasing number of foreign travelers visiting Japan.

Release Anniversary Campaign

To celebrate the official release of the service, we will hold a campaign for inbound travelers to experience our private tours. 150 different tours conducted in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama will be offered free for 150 groups, a maximum of 900 people. Campaign entry can be done easily on the otomo official Facebook page. For details, please check the campaign site.
【Campaign】otomo Service Released Anniversary 150 free-tours Campaign
【1st Prize】<150 groups, maximum 900 people (Up to 6 people per group)> You would be win 1 free-tour from the 150 tours
【2nd Prize】 otomo 20% Discount Coupon of the tour
【How to Apply】
[STEP 1] Click “Like” on the otomo Official Facebook page.
[STEP 2] Send a direct message to otomo via Facebook.
Application Period: 22/1/2019-24/2/2019
Winner Announcement: 28/2/2019 otomo will directly contact to winners via Facebook.
Note:Please make sure notes related to this campaign from the Campaign website.
Campaign Website
Our Facebook Page

Company Overview

Company Name: otomo Inc.
Location: Mitomi Building 3F, Hongo 3-13-3, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, Japan
Representative: Yuki Hiratsuka (CEO)
Founded: April 2017
Capital Stock: 107,000,000 JPY(inclduing Legal Capital Surplus)
Business: Private tour service for inbound travelers, Design/Consulting business
Registration: Travel Agent Licence (No.3-7570) registered by Tokyo Metropolitan Government
URL: https://otomo-inc.com

Inquiries

otomo Inc. (Person in Charge: Kitagawa / Otani)
[MAIL] press@otomo-travel.com
[TEL] 03-6876-6003

*1 Foreign national require a residence status to register as a guide
*2 Statistics of visitors to Japan (Japan National Tourism Organization)
*3 Survey on consumption trends of foreigners in Japan in 2007 (Japan Tourism Agency)
*4 Statistics of foreign residents (Ministry of Justice)
*5 Number of registrants in April 2018 (Japan National Tourism Organization)