MAJOR Japanese outbound travel group H.I.S. Co. is aggressively building its inbound business, having recently acquired key land operator Japan Holiday Travel and created an inbound division.
H.I.S. inbound division-headquarters, team leader, Shunichiro Shimmyo, told TTG Asia e-Daily the company had just completed its acquisition of Japan Holiday Travel in July, with full details to be announced in its financial statement next week.
“Japan Holiday Travel is one of the top agencies in Japan and it mainly handles the Chinese market,” he said, adding that it brings some 100,000 Chinese travellers into Japan a year. Japan Holiday Travel will continue to oversee the China market as a H.I.S. subsidiary.
As for its inbound division, set up last December, Shimmyo explained that H.I.S. was now working on remodelling its 118 overseas retail outlets, going beyond catering to Japanese travelling abroad, and growing local demand for Japan. They would also begin to conduct B2B sales.
Shimmyo shared that in H.I.S. inbound’s first year of operation, it had managed to attract 10,000 tourists from Asia, where most of its business originates. He estimates that the figure will swell to 30,000 next year, once demand for Japan recovers after the sakura season.
He added that he had recently returned from managing the Thai branch for five years, where he was tasked with developing the local market for Japan inbound.
“Thailand is one of our main focuses,” said Shimmyo, pointing out that there was an absence of a huge outbound travel company there, unlike in Singapore and South Korea, for example, where there are strong competitors. Indonesia and Malaysia are also on its radar.
Meanwhile, H.I.S. Experience Japan, a subsidiary focusing on experiential holidays for the Europe and US markets, also ceased operations last year, with customers now absorbed into H.I.S.’s inbound division.