HafH Users tops 35,000 with staycations becoming popular in Tokyo. Accommodation usage for workations & change of pace stays on the rise in new travel/lifestyle shift.
KabuK Style Inc. started travel subscription service HafH in April 2019. Here are the user trends for HafH’s over 35,000 members in 2021.
User Trend Highlights for 2021:
・75% of HafH users are in their 30s and under. 60% are company employees (as opposed to freenlancers, etc.)
・Tokyo ranks no.1 prefecture in Japan for most accommodation stays and as the registered home address amongst users. Tokyo residents staying at accommodation facilities in Tokyo highlights “staycation” trend.
・From using staycations once a month for a change of pace, to remote work and workations. HafH transforming into a service that is more accessible to everyone.
・The Millennials Shibuya ranks no.1 for overall most stays by HafH users in 2021
・Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa ranks 1st for most stays in the 700 HafH Coin+ category in 2021
・Yuen Shinjuku ranks 1st for most stays in the 200 to 700 HafH Coin category in 2021
(1) HafH Users
As of December 2021, the number of active HafH users(※1) is over 35,000. While 75% of HafH users are Millennials and Gen Z’ers (30s and under), we have started to see a subtle increase in users 40 years+, and in family usage. More than 61% of users are company employees (or managers/executives), compared to only 14% of freelancers. The overall average length of stay for HafH users was 1.5 nights, which is slightly longer than the average length of stay of 1.33 nights according to the Japan Tourism Agency’s “Lodging and Travel Statistics Survey”(※2). HafH is also unique in that weekday usage accounts for 61% of overall usage. While the majority of HafH users were originally solo travelers, there has been an increase in the number of users traveling with others, and the percentage is now hovering around the 50/50 mark. 45% of respondents chose “travel accommodation” when asked what their main reason for using HafH was. However, there was still a high percentage using the travel subscription for work purposes with 19% saying they use HafH for remote work, while 18% of respondents use HafH as lodging for business trips. 6% said they use HafH for residential purposes.
※1 Number of members who have completed registration (does not include members who have canceled their subscription)
※2 Lodging and Travel Statistics Survey（Japan Tourism Agency）https://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/siryou/toukei/content/001420783.pdf (Japanese language only)
3 new ways of accommodation usage as seen from user feedback
While the pandemic saw expansion of remote work and the loss of connection and opportunities, it has also lead to a new way of using accommodation facilities through HafH, and the activation of an online community.
①A once a month “change of scenery” & some quality “self time” More people are making it a habit to stay at hotels in their neighborhood, not for sightseeing purposes, but just for a change of pace or to have a moment for themselves. Users said they stayed at hotels as a place to unwind or for self time and “occasionally opening emails”. The pandemic has brought about new ways to use hotels for destressing and self care. Among those using HafH as a way to unwind are people who need a change of scenery because they work from home and are in the same place 24/7, or need some quality self-time because they are with their partners or families all day long. These aren’t people running away from their families and responsibilities, but those who recognise that self-care is important for their wellbeing and that it gives them the recharge they need to support and take care of their families.
②Workation / Accommodation for focussing on work There is an increase in the number of people who feel they can’t concentrate on work when at home and so use hotels and accommodation facilities as a coworking space to remote work from. Some users say they like to just stay inside the hotel for 3 days and pour themselves into their work. Then, once finished, take themselves out to enjoy local food and hot springs as a reward for their effort.
③A new space of learning amongst other HafH users There has been active communication and interaction amongst HafH users. HafH users are interacting with each other via social media, creating “human connections” that have been lost due to the pandemic. In conjunction with ②, some reach out to other HafH users through social media and coordinate coworking events, staying at the same hotel and working together.
In response to these trends and to help support this growing interaction, we launched an official online community called “HafH Community” in August 2021. Not just all work and no play, HafH Community participants interact with locals and organize leisure activities like walking tours to enjoy the area they are staying in.
(2) User Trends for 2021
2.1: Prefectural Ranking for No. of Stays & User Home Address
While more than 60% of users registered their home address as being in the Kanto region, the ranking of prefectures in terms of the number of overnight stays shows that about 38% of users stayed in Tokyo, showing that many opted to stay in their local region. While it has been difficult to travel longer distances during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people living in the Greater Tokyo Area wanting to stay at hotels within Tokyo for “staycations”.
E.g. Yuen Shinjuku, a ryokan (Japanese style inn) with its open-air bath on the top floor and panoramas overlooking Shinjuku, has become a popular choice amongst HafH users. A ryokan like Yuen in the middle of the city is a rarity, and has grown to become the no. 1 destination for HafH guests in the second half of the year since the partnership began in August 2021.
［ONSEN RYOKAN YUEN Shinjyuku］
2.2: HafH Top 20 Accommodation Facilities 2021
Over the past year, The Millennials Shibuya has been visited the most by HafH users. The Millennials is not only in a great location, within walking distance of Shibuya Station, it has become a hub for interaction and communication between HafH users. A major draw card for the The Millennials Shibuya is the guest lounge that makes for a comfortable remote work environment. HafH users have been using the lounge as a coworking space, which has lead to a steady flow of guests visiting for longer-term stays. HafH is a travel subscription service where you use HafH Coins gained through your membership to stay at accommodation facilities in the HafH Network. You need to have the amount of HafH Coins set for the room you wish to stay in to be able to make a booking. We’ve listed the top ranking accommodation facilities for 2021 according to amount of HafH Coins needed.
［The Millennials Shibuya］
Read more about HafH Coins here.
2.3: HafH Top 20 Accommodation Facilities 2021 – 700+ HafH Coins Category
Since last summer, HafH has been increasing the number of luxury hotels in our network that offer guests a more lavish experience. Here are the accommodation facilities that ranked on this year’s 700+ HafH Coin “lavish hotels” category.
All rooms at Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa offer guests beautiful ocean views. The resort has quickly become popular with HafH users due in part to the fact that it offers what you’d expect from a luxury tropical resort. Hyatt Regency’s enthusiasm for accepting workationers has also attributed to the high level of customer satisfaction and popularity among HafH users.
［HYATT REGENCY Seragaki Island Okinawa］
HafH also makes staying at luxury hotels a little easier. HafH is a monthly subscription based service, so rather paying the accommodation fee in one hefty lump sum, users accumulate the HafH Coins they need through their subscription. We expect to see the base for hotel demand to broaden through our travel subscription service.
2.4: HafH Top 20 Accommodation Facilities 2021 – 200 to 700 HafH Coins Category
The accommodation facilities in the 200 to 700 HafH Coin category are hotels that users can more casually enjoy on a regular basis, yet still appeal to the new lifestyles of millennials and gen z’ers. HafH users tend to post about these hotels on social media, creating a buzz, which in turn leads to an increase in reservations by other HafH users.
Zentis Osaka, located in Osaka City, has become popular among HafH users. A partnership promotion with West Japan Rail Company, where HafH members were able to apply for discounted train tickets, saw an increase in the amount of HafH users heading to Zentis. Reservations made through HafH ranked high in the hotel’s total reservations for the year.
2.5: HafH Top 20 Accommodation Facilities 2021 – Community-Interaction Based Accommodation
At HafH, we place importance on one of the true charms of travel, “encounters at your travel destination.” We try to provide the opportunity for interaction with the local community and with other HafH users, which gives a chance for both parties to learn and grow, and can even develop into business opportunities. Here are the accommodation facilities that ranked top in the 200 or less HafH Coins/ Community-Interaction Category.
Ranking in at 8th place is LINNAS KANAZAWA in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. LINNAS is very welcoming of HafH users, facilitates exchange and interaction throughout the year, and is highly rated by guests who’ve stayed.
2.6: HafH 2021 Most Favorited
In November 2021, HafH released an update that allowed users to create a Favorites list where they could save the accommodation facilities they want to one day visit, or liked so much they want to visit again.
Mesm Tokyo, Autograph Collection, ranking in 3rd place, has been mesmerizing HafH users since it became a part of the HafH Network in August 2021. Mesm Tokyo continues to attract attention as a symbol of where HafH users want to “visit one day”.
Travel subscription HafH already offers over 1000 accommodation facilities, and will continue to grow our accommodation network this year by partnering with a wide range of properties, from community-interaction based to luxury. We will also continue to strive to make HafH an even easier, convenient, and affordable platform for travel, and to support a diverse range of lifestyles.
*2021 Ranking Data Period: January 1, 2021 to December 14, 2021
*Most Favorited Data as of: December 14, 2021