Alibaba partners with JR Kyushu to offer scenic rail tours in Japan

Kyushu, Japan
Kyushu, Japan

After making headlines with Marriott International to introduce facial recognition tech in hotels, Alibaba Group has announced a strategic collaboration with Japan’s JR Kyushu to promote railway-themed Kyushu sightseeing tours.

On a mission to further enhance the quality of travel for Chinese consumers, Alibaba’s Fliggy and JR Kyushu unveiled a five-day Kyushu tour specially designed for tourists looking to explore Japan. The offering caters to Chinese travellers abroad and is the latest product from Alibaba Group’s travel platform, following Arctic and Antarctic tours.

As part of the collaboration, customers who choose Fliggy’s tailored Kyushu railway tour are offered train rides on the Aru Ressha, a historic deluxe excursion train, and other themed trains operated by JR Kyushu. In addition, the tour will comprise curated experiences to highlight the best of Kyushu – the third largest island of Japan.

The tour includes a meeting with Kumamon, the famous mascot of Kyushu’s Kumamoto Prefecture, a visit to Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan, and a stay at a hot-springs hotel.

Mount Aso, Japan
Sign in Mount Aso, meaning ‘largest in the world’

The tour is now available for booking on Fliggy, with the actual departure of the first group of travellers scheduled for early October during China’s National Day Golden Week.

To add convenience for Chinese travellers who are exploring the Kyushu tour, the online payment platform, Alipay, will expand its merchant network in Kyushu. As we’ve previously reported, around 65% of Chinese tourists are keen on using mobile payment platforms during their travels – more than six times compared with non-Chinese tourists.

The customised tour, along with the online payment option, is part of Fliggy’s strategy to attract the young demographic of consumers. According to the group’s insights, more than half of Fliggy’s users are young people born in the 1990s. Furthermore, 83% of Chinese travellers’ outbound travel destinations concentrate on locations within four hours’ reach by flight – including Japan.

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