JTB chases Chinese at home

Japanese Travel agency JTB has opened its first retail location in China’s capital Beijing.

The agency will specialise in tours to Japan and will be run in a joint venture with a local travel company.

The agency will be equipped with the same reservation system used in its Japanese retail travel stores, but it will not issue tickets.

The 90 sqm stores is situated in an office building in a popular business district.

The Japanese-themed interior is intended to serve as an advertisement in itself. The branch intends hosting exhibitions in cooperation with Japanese municipalities.

JTB says the new venue is aimed at diversifying demand among Chinese travellers through face-to-face sales. It aims to sell 10,000 tour places annually.

Japan is attracting a rapidly-rising number of Mainland Chinese tourists, attracted by the favourable exchange rate and close proximity, along with relaxed visa conditions.

JTB gained official approval to open in China four years ago but the launch was delayed due to the earthquake of 2011 and simmering tensions between the two countries.

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