On 12 June 2023, Kotozna Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, CEO Genri Goto, https://kotozna.com/en/) formalized a business partnership with Samoon Information Technology (Al Khayalah Riyadh 13326, Saudi Arabia) to launch Kotozna In-room, an information dissemination & communication tool for hotels, in Saudi Arabia. This partnership was unveiled by Prime Minister Kishida during his visit to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 16 July. Saudi Arabia has been vigorously promoting its tourism sector under Vision 2030. This partnership comes at a crucial time, supporting the Kingdom’s ambitions by leveraging digital technology to enrich the tourist experience and streamline the hotel industry’s operations.
Pictured below is Kotozna Inc. and Samoon Information Technology during the signing of their MOA, solidifying a new partnership [Photo Provided by Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia]. From the left: Iwai Fumio (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Fahd Sami Alrayes, Genri Goto, Sami Alrayes (Chairman of Samoon), His Excellency Khalid A. Al-Falih (Minister of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Ihab M Ramadan (CEO of Samoon)
●Dynamic Expansion of Travel Tech Market Underway, Powered by Saudi Government’s Vision 2030 Economic Reform Plan
By 2030, under Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to boost the contribution of tourism to 10% of its GDP. Initiated in 2016, the ambitious initiative is swiftly progressing, driving rapid growth in the Kingdom’s tourism sector. In response, numerous international hotel chains are seizing the opportunity for expansion, investing significantly in building new properties across the Kingdom.
Since January 2023, Kotozna has been actively participating in the Saudi Tourism Accelerator, an acceleration program organized by the Saudi Tourism Authority to accelerate the tourism and accommodation sectors in Saudi Arabia. In February, Kotozna was selected to exhibit at the Japan Pavilion at LEAP Tech Conference under Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO). At the event, we met with Samoon Information Technology and came to consider joint business development for the growing tourism industry in Saudi Arabia.
●Strategic Memorandum of Agreement Signed with Samoon for Distribution of Kotozna In-Room in Saudi Arabia; Sales Launch Anticipated by Year’s End
Recognizing the vibrant and immense potential of Saudi Arabia’s hospitality market, Kotozna visited the Kingdom again in May under the auspices of the investment promotion program of Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) to firm up the collaboration plan with Samoon.
After months of collaborative efforts and in-depth discussions, both parties concluded with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement in June. With this milestone, Kotozna and Samoon affirm their commitment to push the boundaries of the Kingdom’s hotel industry through digital transformation. Both companies are now working in close concert to tailor Kotozna In-Room to the needs of the Kingdom’s hospitality market, in anticipation of an end-of-the-year sales launch.
●CEO Genri Goto of Kotozna Inc. Accompanies Prime Minister Kishida on Middle East Economic Mission (16-18 July)
Kotozna joined a select delegation of 38 companies on Prime Minister Kishida’s economic mission to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar. The tour aimed to fortify economic relations with Saudi Arabia, who is seeking to diversify its industries. Kotozna aims to enhance this bilateral partnership through contributions in tourism and generative AI.
Genri Goto, Chief Executive Officer at Kotozna, commented on the partnership, saying, “We are excited to partner with Samoon, a company that shares our vision for innovation. Through Kotozna In-Room, we aim to enhance and enrich the experience of both hoteliers and travelers in the Kingdom. We see strong, dynamic potential in Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector, and are confident that this collaboration will contribute to the Kingdom’s tourism promotion efforts under Vision 2030.
●About Samoon Information Technology:
Samoon is a leading technology provider Headquartered in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. The company develops and distributes products in various fields including Fintech, Identity & Security, Cybersecurity, Cards and Payment.
●About Kotozna In-Room:
Kotozna In-room is a newly developed information dissemination platform communication tool for accommodation facilities based on the multilingual simultaneous translation chat tool “Kotozna Chat” (109 languages supported as of May 2022). Since its launch in October 2020, it has been introduced in approximately 380 facilities (as of July 2023). Guests do not need to download an application, but simply read the QR code with their smartphones (Note 1). Facility information and information on sightseeing in the area will be displayed in their own language, and they can chat with staff in their native language from anywhere in the facility. Chatbots can automatically respond to frequently asked questions, allowing staff to focus on other tasks. In addition to providing a menu with over 60 items (such as guest services, coupons, etc) in 10 themes, the corresponding items can be customized to meet the needs of the facility. The introduction of this service will enhance virtual communication between accommodation facility staff and guests, thereby simultaneously achieving a contact-free customer service as well as multilingual support, operational efficiency, and sales expansion.
Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo
2016 Oct : Established
2018 Sept : Released “Kotozna Chat”, a multilingual chat tool
2019 Jun : Certified as J-Startup (Note 2), a Japanese startup development support program promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
2020 Feb : Business alliance with JTB
2020 Oct : Started selling Kotozna In-room (Kotozna In-Room: https://kotozna.com/en/in-room ), a multilingual communication tool for accommodation facilities, with JTB in Japan. Amidst the slump in inbound tourism, it has been evaluated as effective for DX and social distancing, and is currently (as of September 2022) installed in more than 250 facilities such as hotels and inns nationwide.
2021 Mar : Selected as a participant in the fourth phase of the Singapore Tourism Accelerator
2021 Aug : Selected by the Agency of Cultural Affairs for a 19 region project to digitalize and translate cultural property information. From 2018-2021, more than 100 cultural properties in 27 regions have been registered on the “Japan Cultural Properties Portal Site”.
2021 Dec : Kotozna Live Chat (now Kotozna laMondo) PoC begins as part of Singapore Tourism Board program
2022 May : Kotozna Singapore Pte.Ltd. established
2022 Sept : Released Kotozna laMondo (https://kotozna.com/en/lamondo/)
2023 Feb : Kotozna In-room is introduced in 40,000 rooms across 300 accommodation facilities
June 2023 : Launched Kotozna ConcierGPT
(Note 1) QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED
(Note 2) *Property Management System (PMS): A business management system for accommodation operators which manages accommodation reservations, fees, sales, customer information, etc.
Kotozna PR Office
Email: [email protected]