Ctrip gets Japan tour operator license to tap into Japan tourism boom
Ctrip has seen visitor number to Japan doubling and has became the first Chinese OTA to get a tour operator license in Japan.
Ctrip，which organizes 300,000 Chinese visitors to Japan every year, has seen visitor number to Japan doubling and has became the first Chinese OTA to get a tour operator license in Japan.
Japan-bound cruises are also increasingly popular with Chinese tourists this year. As well, Ctrip’s data show that Japan has overtaken Korea and Thailand to become the most popular destination for Chinese tourists.
The Japan Tourism Agency projects that expenditure by foreign visitors in Japan this year will exceed three trillion yen, spurred by the devalued yen and expanded duty-free goods range. Chinese tourists contributed significantly, with an average of 280,000 yen spent per person during July to September this year, 19% more than the same period last year.
Some Japanese department stores have reported that a fourth to one half of their sales revenue came from foreign visitors. The influx of Chinese visitors has also given a lifeline to the once flagging Shizuoka Airport.
A Ctrip outbound tourism expert forecasts that Chinese tourists will make five million trips to Japan this year, doubling the 2.41 million trips recorded last year. With Chinese spending an average of RMB15,000 per person in Japan, the total expenditure by Chinese tourists in Japan this year is expected to reach RMB75 billion.
Ctrip officially opened its Japan branch in May this year and expects high growth in the Japan tourism market to continue in 2016. It has already integrated several thousand Chinese and Japanese tour operators on its platform and extended its serviced to over 100 domestic departure cities to meet demand. Its mobile website, that has been downloaded over a billion times, also offers users instant Japan travel booking service.
The number of Japan tourism offerings available to Chinese users online has more than doubled this year. Ctrip users can book over 5,000 Japan vacation products departing from Chinese cities like Shanghai. The offerings include tour packages, local tours, independent travel, cruise, all-inclusive packages and local recreation.
Overseas operations GM of Ctrip’s travel operations department, Lan Yu, said: “The decade from 2015 to 2025 is a golden age for China’s outbound tourism industry, and Ctrip’s main focus will be on expansion in the overseas market. Ctrip has already formulated its basic overseas strategy for the Greater Chinese region, which includes the acquisition of Hong Kong’s Wing On Travel and Taiwan’s ezTravel.” Ctrip setting up a branch office Japan is another example of the company making a strategic move in developing its overseas market capacity.(Translation by David)