Japan’s JTB Corp has launched its revamped Rurubu Travel and JAPANiCAN.com websites, in collaboration with Asia-based OTA Agoda.
The websites, which leverage Agoda’s technology expertise in marketing optimisation, machine learning and AI capabilities, are the OTA’s first white label ventures of this scale.
The newly refreshed websites will feature 12,000 properties on Rurubu Travel and 8,000 on JAPANiCAN.
As part of the partnership with JTB, Agoda will also have preferred access to the 12,000 properties in JTB’s inventory, which will allow its customers access to a greater variety of properties throughout Japan.
For the past year, 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 have helped to deliver personalisation 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 optimisation technology which will help JTB track and target travellers with the right selection of properties.
While the revamped sites leverage Agoda’s technology and infrastructure, Agoda worked closely with JTB to customise 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.
“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 e-commerce ambitions,” explained John Brown, CEO, Agoda.
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.