In Japan, you can check-in to your Airbnb at a convenience store
JAPAN’S biggest convenience store chain, FamilyMart, will soon allow Airbnb guests to pick up their keys at their stores.
The collaboration will enable travelers to easily check-in and also pick up some onigiris (Japanese rice balls) or bento boxes (a meal in a box) while they’re there.
Here’s how it’s done:
Landlords simply need to leave their keys for pickup in special lock boxes at FamilyMart stores.
Their guests will then need to verify their information, such as passport details, and confirm their identities by using a tablet located close to the boxes.
Once their identities have been verified, the lock box will open and they can pick up the keys. Upon checkout, guests will need to return the keys to the lock box at the store.
The implementation of a new law on private lodging business is on the horizon for Airbnb in Japan.
It will allow property owners to rent out vacant homes or rooms to tourists for up to 180 days per year after registering with local municipalities.
Both FamilyMart’s check-in service, as well as the new law, will come into force in June.
“Our business will expand if foreign travelers staying in private homes do some shopping at our stores,” The Jakarta Post quoted FamilyMart President Takashi Sawada as saying at a news conference in Tokyo.
Earlier, Airbnb teamed up with Lawson, another chain of convenience stores, to provide the same services at its outlets in Tokyo.
Seven-Eleven Japan Co. is also jumping on the bandwagon, offering a similar key collection and return service in collaboration with Japanese travel agency JTB Corp.
FamilyMart, which operates over 17,000 convenience stores in Japan, said it hopes the service will reach 150 stores by February next year.
However, for now, it will be only available in Tokyo and Osaka.
Japan is expected to experience a tourism boom leading up to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The government hopes to boost the number of foreign visitors from 28.7 million last year to 40 million in 2020.