SAPPORO - A smartphone application for foreign tourists who rent cars in Hokkaido is being distributed on a trial basis through Nov. 30.
A rapidly increasing number of foreign visitors are using rental vehicles. This has led to the distribution of the "Drive Hokkaido!" mobile app, which provides such services as travel information and discount coupons, as part of a fiscal 2016-17 experiment conducted by the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.
The bureau aims to draw foreign tourists in central Hokkaido out to other regions, so their visits are spread evenly over the area.
Users' GPS information will be analysed to see where they stay and how they travel, and the information used to devise future tourism-related policies. The app was developed by Navitime Japan Co., a Tokyo-based company that develops and operates a navigation service.