Klook Partners with JR-West to Serve Better Market of SEAsian Travelers to Japan

Klook Announces Strategic Partnership with JR-West
  • Klook becomes one of the first companies to launch JR-West’s innovative e-ticket services across its global markets
  • Klook introduces JR-West combo packages, available in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam
  • Combo packages combine JR-West Rail Pass with popular activities such as Harukas 300 Observatory tickets and enriching local experiences

Klook, a world-leading travel activities and services booking platform, and West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) are excited to announce a new strategic partnership that will empower Southeast Asia’s growing set of free independent travelers (FITs) to discover the best of western Japan. Tapping into the region’s vast opportunities, the two companies will collaborate to enhance the variety of travel activities, covering cities like Osaka, Hiroshima, Okayama, and more. The partnership caters to travelers’ growing desire to explore the country by rail and further boosts tourism in western Japan.

Through this strategic partnership, travelers across all of Klook’s markets in Southeast Asia will enjoy a range of new initiatives starting from September 12, 2019. Klook and JR-West will collaborate on the following:

  • Seamless ticket redemption experience: Klook is one of the first companies to launch JR-West’s innovative e-ticket services globally. After making a purchase on Klook’s website and mobile app, travelers can easily redeem their JR-West tickets via train station vending machines.
  • Value-added combo packages: Consumers can also enjoy better value with a number of new combo packages, which combine a JR-West Rail Pass with popular experiences such as Harukas 300 Observatory tickets, and other selected local activities.
  • Personalized experiences: Harnessing travelers’ booking data and preferences, Klook bundles together popular products from several key players in western Japan to create tailored combo deals.
  • Marketing collaborations: The two companies will jointly launch a series of co-marketing initiatives, such as upcoming Klook Travel Festivals in the Philippines and Malaysia. JR-West will be one of the key partners to engage with tens of thousands of travelers onsite.

“Southeast Asia has always been an important region for Klook. With this partnership, we look forward to bringing more visitors from the region to western Japan and beyond,” said Ethan Lin, Klook’s CEO and Co-Founder. “Through our hyper-localized go-to-market strategy, creative marketing campaigns and easy-to-use interface created specially for rail products, we believe our extensive global outreach and strong brand recognition in Southeast Asia will help propel this partnership to greater heights.”

Tourism in western Japan has been rapidly growing. The number of visitors to the region in 2018 increased by 41%[1] compared with 2016, and the region is expected to welcome over 13 million international tourists by 2020[2].

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Similarly, Klook has seen a growing demand from Southeast Asian travelers for both activities and rail bookings in western Japan. Between August 2018 and August 2019, the company more than doubled its activities bookings along the popular western Japan rail routes in destinations such as Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. Klook has also seen rail grow to become a preferred mode of transport among FITs who are visiting western Japan, with nearly a 500% increase in rail services bookings made in the same period.

“We are excited to work with Klook to promote the beauty of western Japan. The region has enormous potential for attracting overseas travelers, with its scenic nature, World Heritage sites, unique culture and lots of hidden gems to be explored. A flexible JR-West Rail Pass will enable you to hop on and off as you please and easily experience the culture, food and nature of this region,” said Hiroshi Muro, Executive Officer, Senior General Manager of Marketing Department of JR-West. “Collaborating with Klook allows us to better engage with today’s travelers through the company’s global network, rapidly growing consumer base, and convenient mobile platform. With Klook’s leadership position, especially in Southeast Asia, our rail services will be more accessible to the region and beyond.”

As a leader in the in-destination travel industry, Klook is well-positioned to serve travelers with innovative technology, seamless user experiences and enriching local offerings. The platform is also tailored to each market in the diverse Southeast Asian region with localized languages, payment methods and currencies. With the continued rise of mobile-savvy FITs and millennials looking for experiential activities, Southeast Asia remains one of the company’s focus areas for further investment and expansion.

This collaboration is an important component of Klook’s strategy to deepen key partnerships and diversify offerings in Japan, which is home to many of the company’s popular destinations, ahead of the 2020 global sporting event in Tokyo. Klook has collaborated with local Japanese operators to expand its portfolio of ‘things to do’ outside the Tokyo metropolitan area by 600% since 2016, adding more enriching and immersive experiences for travelers, such as day tours to nearby attractions and cities.

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