Japan’s largest travel agency, JTB Corporation, and TripAdvisor’s brand Bókun have launched a digital platform to support tour and activity operators in Japan.
JTB Bókun will act as a bridge between operators and booking companies, such as overseas travel agencies, DMOs and accommodation providers, thereby boosting uptake of tours and activities among the domestic and inbound tourism markets.
The launch, on February 3, was prompted by three main factors: growing demand for “neighbourhood tourism” as a result of the pandemic, a rise in both the number of international visitors and repeat international visitors in recent years, and greater interest in themed or hands-on travel content.
JTB Bókun aims to support tour and activity businesses with limited digital resources to capture these escalating demands. Promising to help operators manage and grow their businesses, the platform has tools that will assist users in managing multiple reservation sites and inventory, evaluating sales performance, identifying growth opportunities, and facilitating partnerships.
Travellers, meanwhile, will be able to book tours and activities for almost immediate use. According to JTB Bókun, this is important because more and more visitors to Japan are making their bookings at short notice. The company notes that, much like it is common practice today for tourists to book their flights and hotel stay before they depart, it is becoming more common for tourists to book their holiday experiences online once their trip has begun.
Partners JTB and Bókun have expressed excitement at how they can help this growing market.
“We will provide a wide range of abundant and high-quality content to meet the demands of Japanese travellers and international tourists visiting Japan,” JTB said in a statement.
Bókun added that it is “committed to creating a platform to connect, support and power the experiences ecosystem, and part of that is building high-quality connections with our partners, for our customers”.