Panasonic Group, Fuji Kyuko and Navitime Japan has launched ‘Mt.Fuji Area Tourism DX Innovation Consortium’ to begin demonstration tests for ‘free-hand tourism’ in the area by using face recognition digital pass for payments and entries in Fuji Kyuko railway and tourism facilities.
Combining a shopping coupon service, a travel planning tool and a navigation service into ‘Face Recognition Digital Pass,’ they aim to help visitors go around the area and local communities gain more revenue from visitors.
This is the commercial project in the Japan Tourism Agency-led program to establish a local tourism model for tourism DX acceleration, supported by five local governments and tourism associations in the area.
Takahiro Kajii, Panasonic System Solutions Japan, explained, “We hope that the demonstration tests will be a solution for local tourism challenges. The demonstration will encourage visitors to visit unknown places in the area and to spend money there and also give them contactless travel.”
The demonstration tests will be carried out from November 1 to December 31 2021. The Face Recognition Digital Pass is used on four bus routes, at five railway stations and in nine tourism facilities including Fuji-Q Highland. Payment through face recognition is accepted in four shops and three hotels.
Information on shopping coupons, travel planning and a navigation service is available on official Fuji-Q Highland app.
Masao Amamiya, Fuji Kyuko, said that one of the goals is to increase visitors’ spots from 1.3 currently to 3.0. One of the challenges in the Mt. Fuji area is that most visitors from Tokyo go back home a day because of convenient access to the area.
Also, Amamiya expects that the innovative system can distribute appropriate revenue to each of facilities because the face recognition clarifies the number of visitors accurately.
Fuji-Q Highland has already introduced the Panasonic face recognition system since 2018. The theme-park, as a tourist hub, is trying to extend the system to encourage visitors to go to neighboring shops or restaurants for longer stay in the area.
“A key for the future success is that other tourism providers than Fuji Kyuko Group will join the program,” Amamiya said. “We have a concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV) giving profits back to local communities.”
Face Recognition Digital Pass is sold on Fuji-Q app, and ticket prices vary with AI-based visitor forecast. As a dynamic pricing system, price calendar is displayed for a user to choose a visit day.