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Japan: FamilyMart & Airbnb Pick/Return Keys Partnership

Japan: FamilyMart & Airbnb Pick/Return Keys Partnership

FamilyMart has decide to permit tourists staying in accommodation rented through Airbnb to receive and return door keys at some of its stores.

This comes ahead of a new law on the private lodging business coming into force in June. As Airbnb users are expected to do some shopping at its stores while picking up or returning door keys, FamilyMart hopes the service will lead to increased revenue.

FamilyMart president Takashi Sawada said, "Our business will expand if foreign travelers staying in private homes do some shopping at our stores."

FamilyMart will set up boxes for the key service at around 150 stores mainly in Tokyo by the end of next February, according to a business tie-up struck in April with the Japanese unit of the US online home-rental service giant. By connecting to a call center through tablets located close to the boxes, users will be able to confirm their identities.

Since the new law is expected to allow property owners in Japan to rent out vacant homes or rooms to tourists for up to 180 days per year after registering with local municipalities, Japanese convenience stores are stepping up efforts to cater to travelers staying in private homes.

The country's biggest convenience store chain, Seven-Eleven Japan, has joined forces with Japanese travel agency JTB to offer a similar key collection and return service commencing in June. Source: Bangkok Post PWKD23052018

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