Avinton Japan joins Kanagawa University and other renowned organizations in helping Yokohama City’s tourism industry recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Proudly announcing its role as a technological partner, Avinton will be responsible for the development of an innovative data platform. The goal of this lighthouse project is to shape the future of tourism and realize the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
As reported by Yahoo News, Kanagawa Newspaper, and Ryoko Newspaper, industry-government-academia join forces to innovate Yokohama City’s tourism industry. As the Covid-19 crisis had a large economic impact on local tourism, Yokohama City is looking at digital technologies to quickly recover and rethink the future of tourism. A special focus is set on the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The project was initiated by the Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau and Kanagawa University’s Takanokura seminar of the Faculty of Engineering (Professor Takanokura and three seminar students). The aim is to gather institutions and organizations, combining expertise from various industries. It is thought that by aggregating knowledge and leveraging the diversity of organizations, we can launch impactful and sustainable solutions.
“Having specialized experience in Big Data and AI technologies, we are proud to have been selected as a technological partner for the project by Kanagawa University,” says Sachiko Nakase, CEO of Avinton Japan. “With our company deeply rooted in Yokohama City, this cooperation is a special honor for us. Not only on a professional but also on a personal level, we are eager to join forces with other renowned organizations to work on the future of tourism and create value for our local communities.”
The first phase of the project is analyzing the current state of tourism in Yokohama and predicting the future demand by utilizing Big Data and AI data technology.
Being a technical partner and consultant, Avinton Japan is deeply involved in this phase of the project. As nurturing the growth of highly talented IT engineers is a core part of our company’s vision, we invited Kanagawa University students to attend Avinton Academy, our internal training program.
Together with the Takanokura seminar, we are developing a digital platform that utilizes the latest technologies in Big Data, AI, DX, and image analysis. As a first step, we collect existing historic tourism data (i.e. visitor databases, hotel stays, mobility data, surveys) and combine it with newly generated data.
As a next step, these large amounts of Big Data will be analyzed using AI models specifically developed for this project. Based on these insights, we will propose new and innovative solutions to achieve a V-shaped recovery of Yokohama City’s tourism industry.
Challenges and Opportunities
As with most data-related projects, data collection is one major challenge. “If the data quantity or quality is not sufficient, the final solution cannot deliver a substantial benefit,” says Yuki Inagawa, project lead at Avinton Japan. “In the case of the tourism platform, we benefit from directly cooperating with many Yokohama-based organizations and getting access to the raw data. Then, this raw data is parsed to remove invalid or biased values.”
But apart from the technical challenge, there are other difficulties as well. Customer needs are shifting, and so are the economic targets of local businesses and government, as well as environmental concerns. “Individual needs sometimes appear to contradict one another,” Mr. Inagawa continues. “So, developing a win-win-win solution that satisfies all stakeholders is another big challenge of this project.”
The secret lies in the utilization of digital technologies like machine learning. By exposing the tourism platform to more data, the algorithm performance will gradually improve. Collecting and analyzing data in real-time will enable Yokohama City’s tourism industry to learn, react, and adapt to new conditions faster than ever before. And thanks to intuitive visual dashboards even non-engineers will be able to analyze the data easily.
With the tourism industries of Yokohama City and many other regions having been hit hard by the pandemic, we want to use this opportunity to rethink and reshape tourism in a sustainable way. By launching this lighthouse project in collaboration with academia, industry and government, we hope to set an example of how digital technology can contribute to modern tourism and the achievement of SDGs.
About Avinton Japan
Avinton Japan is a business and IT consulting company based in Yokohama, Japan. We are the digital transformation partners of blue-chip multinationals as well as local governments. We excel at designing and delivering Big Data and AI solutions. Our tailor-made data and AI pipelines can be integrated seamlessly with our clients’ ways of working.
At Avinton Japan, we guide and nurture the growth of highly talented exceptional engineers that can deliver elegant solutions to our customers using cutting-edge IT technologies.
We have a great responsibility towards our diverse team but also our society. As Avinton Japan was founded with regard to SDGs, we have implemented sustainable processes and activities – ranging from a paperless office with a minimal environmental footprint, to automation and efficiency. In 2021, Avinton Japan became an official SDGs partner of the Kanagawa Prefectural Government and the City of Yokohama.
About Avinton Data Platform
Avinton develops and offers its own Big Data analysis and machine learning solution called Avinton Data Platform. It uses the world’s most advanced technology and can hold hundreds of terabytes of data. Avinton Data Platform is an end-to-end solution capable of high-speed data analysis and machine learning. For more information, please click here.