Multilingual Communication Tool for Lodging Facilities in the New Normal Era; Kotozna In-room Available for Purchase

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A new software for hotels to achieve digital transformation which is key to social distancing and work efficiency

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Kotozna In-room is hotels' top choice for digital transformation.

JTB Corp. (President & CEO Eijiro Yamakita, Head Office in Shinagawaku, Tokyo) and Kotozna, Inc. (CEO Genri Goto, Head Office in Minatoku, Tokyo, https://kotozna.com/) have jointly developed “Kotozna In-room,” a non-contact, multilingual communication tool for the new normal era that will connect hotel staff and guests, and will begin selling to domestic lodging facilities from October 1st.

What is Kotozna In-room 
“Kotozna In-room” is a newly developed communication tool for lodging facilities based on the multilingual chat tool Kotozna Chat (109 languages supported as of the end of August 2020). No downloads necessary. All guests need to do is scan a QR code [1] with their smartphone, and facility information and sightseeing information are displayed in their own language, and they can also chat with staff from anywhere in the facility in their native tongue. Chatbots also automatically answer frequently asked questions, allowing staff to focus on providing a higher level of hospitality. The service can provide a menu of 60 items on 10 themes, including guest services and coupons that can be used within the property, and the list can be customized to meet the needs of the facility. The introduction of this service will enhance virtual communication between staff and guests, which will result in "non-face-to-face," "non-contact," "social distance" and "avoidance of 3Cs (crowds, closed spaces, closeness)," as well as "multilingual support," "work efficiency" and "sales increase" all at the same time.

Official HP: https://kotozna.com/in-room/

Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DLFcfha0U_cjwlXNKFktGx_qRr2o_R7L/view?usp=sharing

Background of Commercialization
JTB's mission is to bring smiles and excitement to customers by creating a breadth of interactions on the global stage, and to promote local interaction projects across the country that contribute to solving social issues. Kotozna, as a J-Startup [2] certified company, has been working on a mission to build a global multilingual environment that breaks down language barriers around the world.

JTB and Kotozna have formed a capital and business alliance in February 2020 to develop services for the accommodations industry in order to solve the social issues of digitalization and multilingualization of the tourism industry. This is done by leveraging the synergy between JTB and Kotozna in the realm of human touch, which JTB has built up since its establishment, and Kotozna's leading-edge technology, such as multilingual systems and digital transformation promotion. “Kotozna In-room" has been piloted at approximately 10 lodging facilities since March, but the global outbreak of COVID-19 has hit the tourism industry hard and halted inbound demand. However, Kotozna, Inc. was able to verify that the smart operation implementation provided by this service was able to ensure social distancing amidst COVID-19 and create a sense of security for both staff and guests. Lodging facilities that cooperated in the verification experiment have provided positive feedback such as "Hotels can advertise to external parties that they take adequate measures to prevent infectious diseases" and "Hotels can reinforce the strengthening of local inbound tourism.”

Future Developments
Kotozna will develop, operate and maintain the system, while JTB will develop sales activities for lodging facilities. At the beginning, JTB will sell the system to contracted lodging facilities located in two prefectures in the Kansai region, as well as Osaka and Kyoto, and then gradually expand nationwide.

In the near future, both companies will aim to improve the convenience of guests and the efficiency of accommodations businesses by expanding questionnaires, extension functions, and checking crowdedness in the hotels. In addition, both parties will work to revitalize the surrounding area through collaboration with external sites, and innovate the function as a tool to support communication between staff and guests at all stages of their journey, from pre-trip all the way to post-trip. They will also improve the services and business operations of lodging facilities, as well as the value of local tourism resources, by using "Kotozna In-room" usage data to visualize the interests of guests and the services and information they expect to receive, without identifying any personal information.

Features of Kotozna In-room 
During COVID-19
JTB and Kotozna will ensure social distance and provide contact-free safe and secure hospitality, e.g.

  • Digitalization of information and terms and conditions in the lodging facility    
  • Simplifying sterilization work and reducing costs
  • Responding to inquiries via chat        
  • Avoiding 3C’s and less direct contact between guests and staff
  • Automated replies by chatbot        
  • Improving staff efficiency

Post Covid-19
Even as inbound demand recovers, it is necessary to develop a system that takes into account the reduction of face-to-face contact, e.g

  • Efficient dissemination of information in multiple languages    
  • Increase in sales per customer
  • Difficulty in recruiting multilingual personnel and reducing fixed costs
  • Support in 109 languages for ease of operation
  • Inquiries support in multiple languages        
  • Increase customer satisfaction

[1] QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated
[2] A program to nurture and support startups, promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to realize the government's goal of creating 20 unicorn or listed venture companies with an enterprise value or market capitalization of $1 billion or more by 2023. Kotozna Corporation was selected in June 2019.

Lodging Facility Contact
Kotozna In-room Office C/O JTB 
TEL: +81 6-6252-2640 (JST 9:30-17:30, closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays)

Press Contact
JTB Public Relations Office 
TEL: +81 6-6260-5108 (Osaka)
+81 3-5796-5833 (Tokyo)

Kotozna PR Office 
TEL: +81 3-6434-0123 (JST 9:00-18:00, closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays)

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Eileen Kae Relao
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