Japanese hotelier Fujita Kanko Inc. said it is implementing a multilingual chatbot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to handle guest inquiries on the websites for some of its Japan-based properties that are attracting a growing number of international guests. Website visitors can use the chatbot in Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, or Korean to receive 24/7 assistance. If the chatbot fails to answer any questions, human operators are available to provide assistance between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Japan time.
The feature is currently available on the websites of Hotel Gracery Ginza, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku and Shinjuku Washington Hotel all in Tokyo, Hotel Gracery Naha in Okinawa and Hotel Gracery Sapporo in Hokkaido. Starting December 4th, it will be implemented on the websites for Hotel Gracery Tamachi in Tokyo and Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo in Kyoto.
"It is essential that we adapt our services to meet consumer demand for more digital interaction, while maintaining our in-person hospitality standards," said Akira Segawa, Fujita Kanko's president & CEO. "Our customer services are quickly evolving to meet today's global demands. Our Gracery hotels, for example, emphasize concierge service with designated staff who can provide local information and assist international visitors with various activities. Implementing this chatbot is our next attempt to serve those planning to visit Japan."
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of international visitors to Japan exceeded 24 million in 2016, a 22% growth from 2015. In the first ten months of 2017, the number of international visitors has already exceeded 23 million. This growth is anticipated to continue toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Fujita Kanko is strategically adding new hotels in destinations with high potential. It opened Kisarazu Washington Hotelon Tokyo Bay in October 2017. Future scheduled openings include Hotel Gracery Asakusa and Hotel Gracery Seoul in 2018, and Hotel Gracery Taipei and Hotel Gracery Namba in 2019.