Japanese companies are advancing their efforts to tackle travel-related problems, such as carbon emissions and disruption to local people, amid rising demand for responsible tourism among consumers.
“Travellers increasingly desire to make more sustainable choices regarding their travel destinations, accommodation, transportation and so on,” noted Japan Airlines in a statement, while noting that those travellers “still lack sufficient options”.
To meet those changing needs, the airline has teamed up with diversified business enterprise Sumitomo Corporation to launch “Any Wear, Anywhere,” a clothing sharing service designed to eliminate the need for the transportation of large luggage to Japan from overseas.
JAL customers can choose a clothing set dependent on the season and purpose of travel, including leisure or business, which is delivered to and picked up from their chosen hotel. After use, the clothing is cleaned and reused.
It is estimated that the service will enable a typical user travelling from New York to Tokyo to reduce the carbon emissions from their travel by 7.5kg, by just cutting back on 10kg worth of baggage.
Tokyo-based company Airporter, Inc., meanwhile, aims to provide hands-free travel by offering a luggage drop-off service at Japan’s main travel hubs. Travellers can request for their luggage to be delivered to their hotel or departure airport within the cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Okinawa.
According to the company, the experimental initiative aims “to promote empty-handed tourism” and prevent “crowding of city buses caused by the increase in inbound tourists”.
This year’s surge in inbound tourists using city buses has been particularly problematic for Kyoto, whose municipal government, in September, introduced extra bus services, began encouraging greater use of the subway, ended the sale of one-day bus passes and began promoting services like Airporter that enable travel without luggage.
“We aim to realise sustainable tourism,” said Airporter.