Eager tourists have flocked into Japan after borders were reopened for international tourism in September, and the visa-free entry program was reinstated in October. According to statistics released by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Japan welcomed close to a million international tourists in November.
Although local shopping centers, hotels, and restaurants celebrate the recovery of tourism, the pandemic has prompted a heightened sense of awareness among tourists towards crowded areas, introducing new challenges despite rising business opportunities.
Crowd control is a crucial challenge for Japanese businesses catering to tourists, especially those in Tokyo – the capital city of Japan and a hotspot for tourism. In particular, Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza, located just on the outskirts of Tokyo City, caters to a seemingly endless stream of foreign snow-seekers and summer escapists. The shopping mall has naturally developed into a robust tourist hub complete with restaurants, cafes, and restrooms. To prevent the over-concentration of people in specific areas, the ability to monitor crowds in real-time and notify tourists of congestion is vital for enhancing the consumer experience.
At the same time, a hotel located in the southern onsen village of Yamanashi Prefecture faced a similar challenge. In response, the hotel was outfitted with a manual counting system to control the number of visitors in the hotel at any given time. This system was costly and prone to error, directly affecting customer satisfaction. A technical solution was urgently needed to resolve the hotel’s crowding problem.
VIVOTEK devised a comprehensive solution to meet the surveillance requirements of various commercial establishments in Japan. A total of 200 SC8131 Stereo Counting Network Cameras were installed in restaurants, hotels, and other key tourist locations. The SC8131 camera features VIVOTEK’s 3D Depth Technology, providing real-time counting and tracking capabilities with an accuracy of over 98%. The data collected by the cameras within the shopping mall were then relayed to the host system and projected onto the digital signages on each floor, providing insightful information about nearby sightseeing locations and restaurants to tourists in real-time, thereby greatly enhancing consumer satisfaction.
In the onsen hotel, the SC8131 Stereo Counting Network Cameras were installed at the reception desk, in restaurants, and at the access points of recreational areas and public baths. Guests can then use their smartphones to scan a QR code in their rooms to receive crowd data in real-time, cutting physical inquiries by 70% and significantly improving management efficiency. To eliminate the controversy around installing cameras in public baths, the VIVOTEK SC8131 is capable of maintaining the counter without recording passersby. This functionality ensures tourists’ privacy.
Results and Customer Feedback
With the system installed within the Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza, visitors can now gain a clear overview of the crowding situations in different areas directly from the digital signages, allowing them to avoid crowded areas. The quality of the system components also translates to minimal downtime. The solution at the onsen village hotel allows the vendor to keep track of foot traffic in various facilities and maintain service quality. For managers, investments in these solutions are beneficial as they will greatly cut labor costs down the line. Furthermore, the simplistic and beautifully designed cameras integrate seamlessly into the building environments, going up and beyond the expectations of the Japanese customer in terms of functionality and aesthetics. The solutions are also backed by VIVOTEK’s Japan Field Office, which is on standby to provide immediate support.
VIVOTEK, a leader in commercial IP surveillance solutions, had the privilege of partnering with VACAN, winner of the J-Startup in 2019, to upgrade a range of commercial facilities. VACAN specializes in AIoT and system integration. With its contribution, VIVOTEK delivered a comprehensive vCore-integrated surveillance solution that could convert detection data into visual messages for smartphones and digital signages, greatly enhancing notification efficiency.
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