Trip Base Michi-no-Eki Stations Project with Marriott International - hotels to serve as travel hubs for exploring the hidden charms of the local area

Jul 30, 2020

Sekisui House, Ltd. and Marriott International, Inc. are launching the Trip Base Michi-no-Eki Stations Project, a platform for regional revitalization, in collaboration with local governments in 25 prefectures and 34 partner companies. The hotels - Fairfield by Marriott will be situated in convenient locations near popular roadside rest stations called “Michi-no-Eki” in Japan, where travelers can find locally-inspired dining venues, farm-fresh produce and traditional handcrafts. These stations also provide travelers with tourist information of nearby attractions, giving access to explore the little-known charms of the local area. For a start, we plan to open hotels at eight locations in four prefectures from October through to the end of this year.

Fairfield by Marriott, a hotel serving as a new travel hub for exploring the hidden charms of the local area

Fairfield by Marriott, a hotel serving as a new travel hub for exploring the hidden charms of the local area

Going forward, aiming to assist regional revitalization nationwide, we intend to promote further collaboration with regional communities, local governments, and partner companies, toward the goal of expanding the combined capacity of these hotels to about 3,000 rooms in 25 prefectures by 2025.

Comment from Yoshihiro Nakai - President and Representative Director, Sekisui House, Ltd.

Yoshihiro Nakai Sekisui House

“The Trip Base Michi-no-Eki Stations Project is aimed at the economic revitalization of local areas through collaboration around tourism with local governments and partner companies. The discovery of little-known attractions in local areas will widen the range of options for trips. It will also generate a new flow of travelers into these areas and lead to the creation of new employment opportunities. It is with conviction about these benefits that we are launching this project as originally scheduled. Our quest to spur the exploration of, and take a hand in finding, unknown Japan is finally getting under way. We earnestly hope all concerned will look forward to the progress of the Trip Base Michi-no-Eki Stations Project.”

Comment from Craig Smith - President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Marriott International

Craig Smith Marriott International

“Japan holds a lot of potential as a global destination with its outstanding culture, nature and fascinating attractions. This project is a testament to our tremendous growth in Japan which also recently saw the opening of Marriott International’s 50th hotel in the country. I strongly believe that the Fairfield by Marriott Michi-no-Eki hotels will give travelers access to undiscovered destinations while ensuring that guests can count on the international brand’s standards of warm hospitality and inviting spaces with each and every stay.”
Features of the Trip Base Michi-no-Eki Stations Project

Features of the Trip Base Michi-no-Eki Stations Project

・ Working with various regional communities throughout Japan, Sekisui House and Marriott International propose and provide a journey through attractions of each region, empowering the Michi-no-Eki stations as travel hubs.
・ This project will utilize Michi-no-Eki stations, which have been so far a place to rest and passed by for tourists, as hubs to create a network out of dispersed regional tourist attractions, maximizing their potential and empowering the regional revitalization.
・ Fairfield by Marriott is a global brand with over 950 locations worldwide. Sekisui House will expand further into the non-residential sector by introducing this brand to Japan, combined with the superior quality and short construction periods possible with pre-engineered technologies developed through Sekisui House’s residential business.
・ Sekisui House will be responsible for the project management. SPCs dedicated to this project funded by Sekisui House, Mizuho Financial Group and other tourism specialized funds will own the properties which will be operated by Marriott International.
・ A Sekisui House subsidiary will be responsible for the hotel business management and will attract the growing numbers of inbound tourists by catering to overseas tourist needs and leveraging the strengths of the Marriott International’s brand.
・ The Trip Base project aims to become a platform to revitalize secondary cities by working together with local governments and proactively developing alliances with partners.

Local production sold at Michi-no-Eki stations

Local production sold at Michi-no-Eki stations

Partnership with 25 prefectures

Since announcing the project in 2018, we have pursued studies with regional communities and local governments nationwide toward the goal of revitalizing regional economies. As of July 2020, we were making plans for the selection of the Michi-no-Eki stations to serve as travel hubs and for the development of hotels with the 25 prefectures which had endorsed the project by then.
We have held workshops with local personnel for the resolution of local issues in the city of Gujo, Gifu Prefecture, and opened the Shichiri-Mihama Tourist Information Center, the first visitors’ information center in the town of Mihama, Mie Prefecture. As indicated by these cases, the project is actually occasioning change in regional communities.

(Left) Local Workshop at Gujo, Gifu - Feb.2020, (Middle/right) The Shichiri-Mihama Tourist Information Center newly opened in Mihama. With English speakers always present, the Center is aimed at improving their services for visitors and revitalizing the regional economy.

Partner companies

At the same time, we have pursued studies with various companies, too. As of July 2020, we had commenced collaboration with a total of 34 partner companies that had endorsed the project by then. These companies include local firms as well as enterprises whose business is on a nationwide or global scale. Together with these partner companies in various specialized fields, we are making efforts to assist regional revitalization through activities such as unearthing the hidden charms of local areas, reforming local work styles, and developing local human resources. Looking ahead to the diversification of travel styles (e.g., the spread of trips to nearby locations and of workations) and recovery of the demand associated with in-bound foreign tourism, we are also considering a further widening of the circle of partnership.

Common space for dining and woking

Common space for dining and woking

Fairfield by Marriott hotels

Fairfield by Marriott is a brand of hotels managed by Marriott International to serve as hubs for trips to explore the little-known attractions of the surrounding area.
Michi-no-Eki stations have thus far been places where travelers have stopped to take a rest or which they have simply driven by. The hotels will utilize them as the hubs of networks connected to hidden tourism resources scattered in the area. The objective is to thereby maximize the area’s tourist-attracting potential and contribute to local economic revitalization through use of the hotels as hubs for trips. In addition, because the hotels are of the sort offering basic plans for overnight stays, their guests will visit the nearest Michi-no-Eki station and stores in their vicinity to buy food and souvenirs. In this way, the hotel plans will stimulate communication with local residents and generate a flow of visitors.

Fairfield by Marriott hotels are designed to deliver seamless stays resting on reliable services and warm, comfortable space. Besides free Wi-Fi, they provide carefully designed guest rooms, and space for both living and working.

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