In 2018, Veltra, a Japan-based booking platform for activities around the globe, created a subsidiary to help transportation, tour and attraction providers digitize their operations.
Known as Linktivity, the subsidiary was working with five suppliers when the pandemic began in 2020. Today that number has grown to more than 100.
Linktivity, now operating as an independent company, bridges the gap between railways, bus companies, attractions and activities with online travel agencies in Japan and around the world.
The company provides a cloud-based solution for suppliers that enables e-ticketing using QR codes and provides a single access point for connection to distribution channels such as Ctrip, GetYourGuide, Klook, Viator, KKday, Tiqets, ANA Airways, Japan Airlines and others.
Suppliers can also manage inventory and access sales and payment reports.
Linktivity CEO Seiryuu Kou says the company has been able to rapidly grow its supplier base in the last two years as these companies have recognized travelers are demanding more digital, contactless ticketing.
“Since the pandemic hit, the inbound market has shrunk, but the domestic need for travel has increased. And suppliers would like to prepare themselves once the border has opened up again, so they feel urged to step forward and make a change,” Kou says.
Regarding resellers, says Kou: “In the Japanese market, where language barriers and a different way of doing business can present challenges to overseas companies, Linktivity’s aggregated supply offers an attractive array of high‐demand products with only a single contract and interface process.”
The connection to train and bus operators is particularly critical in Japan, Kou says, since these forms of transportation are cheaper and faster than rental cars or taxis. According to Linktivity, it costs $260 and takes more than one hour to travel from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo by taxi, but the journey is only $21 and 36 minutes by train.
Looking ahead, in addition to connecting with more suppliers and resellers, Linktivity says it will create discounted product bundles, such as a combination of a train and attraction ticket, and it wants to provide mobility-as-a-service solutions to partners outside travel.
In December, Linktivity announced an alliance with and $1.5 million investment from Japanese telecommunications company NTT West.