TOKYO -- Japan's travel agency JTB and credit card issuer JCB will track the shopping activities of foreign visitors and analyze the results to help local municipalities come up with ideas to attract tourists.
The service will launch on a trial basis next month, with the developers aiming to commercialize it in fiscal 2017.
The duo have teamed with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone and the Japan Shopping Tourism Organization. To study the behavior of foreign visitors to Japan, the group will combine a smartphone app for sightseeing developed by JTB and NTT with gift cards issued by JCB. Visitors using the app need to register information such as their gender and nationality. If they agree, the app will also collect GPS information on their whereabouts.
The idea is for users of this app to make purchases using the gift cards so that data can be collected about their spending, including the location. Analyzing the data can reveal the preferences of different nationalities and which amenities are most effective at attracting foreign tourists.