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Rakuten and Lifull build vacation platforms to compete Airbnb

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Tinuku ~ Rakuten and Lifull collaborate to create Rakuten Lifull Stay Inc. as an online vacation service platform. Japanese electronics e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. and real estate Lifull Co Ltd announced Thursday that it will build a property rental business for travelers on holiday in Japan and open warfare with Airbnb that has been legal in the country.

Tinuku Rakuten and Lifull build vacation platforms to compete Airbnb

Two technology companies will design Rakuten Lifull Stay Inc. as a new platform connecting homeowners or vacant rooms that want to provide accommodation with people who want to rent. This service will bring "Vacation Stay" to property owners to take advantage of their untapped assets and provide travelers with more accommodation options.

Rakuten has a base of 90 million users in Japan and has a strong network with local governments nationally, while Lifull operates sites with the Trovit.com brand which has a list of 8 million properties and has a network of more than 22,000 affiliated real-estate stores.

Rakuten Lifull Stay will utilize Rakuten's membership base as well as Lifull's resources and expertise in the real estate industry as an innovative step toward joint business for both companies.

They also plan to offer comprehensive support options and help everything from property preparation to day-to-day operations by applying outsourced labor from external partners making it more secure for guests.

The declining population and stagnant housing market in Japan has become a major social issue and in recent years more and more homes are uninhabited. At the same time Japan lacks accommodation as a growing number of tourists ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The government is thinking hard to create the number of accommodations through new laws that allow individuals to use their uninhabited homes or rooms to provide vacation rental services without the need for licenses under Hotel Laws.

The new policy of the government was immediately welcomed by Airbnb who has been operating in Japan in a clandestine way. They are now more active in developing a wider business in Japan by legal means.

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