Tokyo, July 3, 2017 – Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc., a Rakuten Group company providing vacation rental services, and HomeAway, Inc., an Expedia Group company operating one of the largest vacation rental sites in the world, today announced that the two companies have reached an agreement to form a business collaboration in the vacation rental industry.
Based on the agreement, Rakuten LIFULL STAY, which is a subsidiary of a company jointly owned by Rakuten, Inc. and LIFULL Co., Ltd., will provide Japanese property listings from its tentatively-titled “Vacation Stay” service to HomeAway. HomeAway will focus on driving demand for Japanese properties by promoting travel to Japan through its platform. By collaborating on listings, customer-acquisition and sales, the two companies will provide a service that is attractive to both property owners and visitors.
In recent years, with the Japanese government supporting various policies aimed at promoting Japan as a tourist destination, visitor numbers are increasing. In order to meet the growing need for a diverse range of accommodation, the new Private Lodgings Business Law, which makes it possible to operate vacation rental services, was passed on June 9, 2017. With the passing of the law, Rakuten LIFULL STAY and HomeAway have agreed to collaborate in the sector to expand options for accommodation for overseas visitors, raise awareness of Japan’s tourist spots beyond the major cities, and increase the number of visitors to these areas.
Rakuten LIFULL STAY also plans to connect to LIFULL HOME’S Akiya Bank*1, a platform which gathers information from databases of unoccupied homes run by local governments. This will give owners of unoccupied homes in regional areas registered on akiya banks the option of utilizing their homes as vacation rentalproperties or by providing experience-based accommodation, contributing to the development of the economy and tourism in the region.
Utilizing their respective networks, Rakuten LIFULL STAY and HomeAway will provide a service that meets diverse accommodation needs and expands the accommodation market through the vacation rental business, while contributing to further growth in inbound tourism and the promotion of Japan as a tourist destination.
*1 “LIFULL HOME’S Akiya Bank”: A platform which gathers information from unoccupied home banks operated by local governments. The platform centralizes the information and provides it in a standardized format to make it possible for users to search and compare properties. The project is being developed by LIFULL and has been adopted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The project is planned to launch in summer 2017.
Overview of Rakuten LIFULL STAY
Company name: Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc.
Address: Otemachi Financial City Grand Cube 3F
1-9-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Representative Director Munekatsu Ota
Details of business: Providing services related to vacation rental platformDate of establishment: March 2017
Overview of HomeAway
Company name: HomeAway, Inc.
Headquarters: Austin, Texas, U.S.
Representative: CEO John Kim
Details of business: HomeAway is one of the world’s leading vacation rental companies and is part of Expedia Group, which has its headquarters in Austin, Texas, U.S. We provide and manage a platform through which users can make bookings at over two million unique vacation rental homes in 190 countries. We specify in “Whole Vacation” and helping friends and family who travel together to create unforgettable memories. One of our strengths is our high cost performance when booking for several travelers together. We also provide an easy online service for owners that covers the whole process from house registration to reservation management.
Date of establishment: February 2005
Website (English) : https://www.homeaway.com/
Website (Japanese): https://www.homeaway.co.jp/