【News Release】 The Launch of "Okinawa2Go!" (October 5, 2010)
October 5, 2010
A new project utilizing iPhones to attract foreign tourists to Okinawa
The Launch of "Okinawa2Go!"
A new ICT service will become available for Japanese and foreign tourists to better enjoy their stay in Okinawa. All businesses in tourism in Okinawa are encouraged to participate in this project so that they can enhance their services for both domestic and foreign visitors.
ICT-based Tourist Environment Development Consortium (JTB OKINAWA Corp., Index Okinawa Corporation, SOFTBANK TELECOM Corp. and DENTSU INC., (Naha, Okinawa) hereinafter called the Consortium) announced today that it is going to launch its "Okinawa2Go!" project in early October. The project, commissioned by the Okinawa Prefectural Government as part of the "Okinawa Tourist Information System Model Development Project", features a new service which aims to provide a wide range of information for Japanese tourists as well as visitors from overseas.
Okinawa becomes the first prefecture in Japan to establish a 24hour multi-lingual call center for tourists and to provide tourist information using smart phones.
In this project, the Consortium has developed iPhone application "Okinawa2Go!", which is designed to fully utilize iPhone features (GPS, Digital Compass, Acceleration Sensor, Multi-lingual Display, Digital Camera etc.), so that holidaymakers in Okinawa, especially those from overseas, can have easy access to travel information in several languages and share their experiences through smart phones anytime, anywhere. Also, the 24hour call center has been set up to help ensure safe and convenient travel in Okinawa. In an effort to establish a new travel style using iPhones and promote communication between tourists and businesses, the Consortium strongly encourages all local businesses to participate.
Outline of "Okinawa2Go!"
The Okinawa2Go! Project aims to improve Okinawa's travel environment and encourages customer spending by directly linking businesses with tourists, especially those from overseas. For this reason, the Consortium is setting out to implement two plans in order to improve tourist information by involving local businesses, and encourage the use of the 24hour call center to enhance the safety and comfort of visitors.
1. Providing tourist information in several languages through smart phones and promoting postings on Twitter etc.
2. Establishing a 24hour multi-language call center (Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean)
The Consortium will shortly launch the following three services aimed at promoting communication between tourists (especially foreign tourists) and local businesses in Okinawa. It will invite participants from the tourism industry for trials. See the following website for details.
・The call center becomes available 24 hours for all visitors and local businesses in Okinawa. Lines will be open starting from October 1, 2010. The phone numbers are as follows:
Contact number for local businesses: 098-916-6184
Contact numbers for visitors:
Call from overseas:
・The Consortium has developed an iPhone application to provide more appealing information on Okinawa. It will rent out 100 iPhone 4s to visitors and 200 iPhone 4s to local businesses for free for trials and surveys. The information will be distributed worldwide through App Store, which is expected to attract potential visitors to Okinawa in turn.
・The Consortium will rent out FON routers to local businesses for free so that more visitors can use their smart phones in more areas.
--How can local businesses participate?--
Go to the following website: http://www.okinawa2go.net and fill out the forms. Send them by email or by fax to the Okinawa2Go! Project Office. When applicants exceed the number of iPhones available, participants shall be selected randomly amongst the eligible applicants.
There are three ways to participate at no cost.
1. Provide information for Okinawa2Go!, borrow an iPhone for free, and install a FON router. (maximum 200 establishments, participants will be asked to answer the Consortium's questionnaire after the trial.).
2. FON router installation (maximum 1,000 establishments). Costs may be incurred depending on the facility environment.
3. Use the 24 hour call center. All local businesses in Okinawa are welcome to use the call center.
September 13, 2010-- Start the recruitment of trial participants from local businesses in Okinawa
October 1, 2010--Start the operation of the call center
Early October-- Release Okinawa2Go! application (trial basis)
Early November-- Start renting out iPhones to visitors for trial and survey
Early December--Release Okinawa2Go! application (start proper operation), Start the free download service through App Store worldwide
FON is one of the biggest Wi-Fi communities in the world, accessible worldwide. There are approximately one million FON access points, and there are more than 5 million members(in Japan, there are 70,000 access points and more than 150,000 members.).
FON website: http://www.fon.ne.jp/
Contact: Watabe (JTB Okinawa)
Okinawa2Go! Project Office
Okinawa Tourist Information System Model Development Project
TEL: +81-98-860-7704 email:firstname.lastname@example.org