JTB has ‘gone live’ with its new Rurubu Travel and JAPANiCAN.com websites, 12 months after announcing a strategic collaboration with Asia-based digital travel platform Agoda. The websites, which leverage Agoda’s technology expertise in marketing optimization, machine learning and AI capabilities, are Agoda’s first white label ventures of this scale.
For the past 12 months over 100 engineers, designers, product and marketing specialists and business development and relationship managers from JTB and Agoda have collaborated on developing back-end and front-end technology to improve customers’ interaction experience with the websites by reducing search and booking journey inefficiencies, designing a more user friendly interface, and improving connectivity response speeds for search results and booking.
In addition, Agoda’s AI and machine learning tools has helped to deliver personalization of searches, showing relevant choices of types, location and budgets of accommodation thus making it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for, much more efficiently. This is combined with Agoda’s marketing optimization technology which will help JTB track and target travelers with the right selection of properties.
While the revamped sites leverage Agoda’s technology and infrastructure, Agoda worked closely with JTB to customize the look and feel of the sites to Rurubu Travel and JAPANiCAN’s branding, as well as tailor certain processes and features specific to their market. That includes integrating payment flows through JTB’s preferred payment gateway, and meal plan and occupancy settings for ryokans to meet the expectations of Japanese customers and requirements of traditional Japanese accommodation partners.
The newly refreshed websites will go live with 12,000 properties on Rurubu Travel and 8,000 on JAPANiCAN.
“This hasn’t been just a facelift, this project has been a complete reengineering of how these websites’ function by Agoda to improve connectivity and processes, and ultimately help accelerate JTB’s digital and ecommerce ambitions,” explained John Brown, CEO Agoda. “It has been a really exciting project that has enabled Agoda to showcase our technological excellence to a company that is as well renowned and respected as JTB, and more importantly, help them to move much more quickly into the digital travel landscape.”
“At Agoda, we consider our Bangkok office the Silicon Valley of Asia, employing more than 1,000 engineers who constantly build, test and measure best-in-class technology solutions to make travel much easier. As the travel space becomes more competitive, particularly here in Asia, we anticipate a greater number of traditional partners looking for similar solutions to accelerate their digital revenue growth.”
As part of the partnership with JTB Agoda will also have preferred access to 12,000 JTB inventory, which will allow Agoda customers access to greater variety of properties at the best prices available throughout Japan.
Agoda and JTB will continue their collaboration with other projects including the development of an extranet to allow JTB partner properties to dynamically manage their content and inventory.
More information on the press release from JTB (Japanese) here.
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