Singapore - FIT Ruums, Webjet Group’s B2B travel distributor in Asia, has taken a major step forward in its global expansion strategy with the launch of its first office in Japan.
The company has grown strongly since it first launched 12 months ago, building a network of offices serving nine key Asian markets – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, China and India. And now this global growth has reached Japan, with the opening of the group’s inaugural office in the world’s third largest economy, located in Osaka.
By establishing a presence in Japan, FIT Ruums will be able to secure a broader choice of Japanese hotels and better rates for its clients across Asia.
The launch follows the recent acquisition of London-based JacTravel by the Webjet Group. This GBP200 million (approx. US$270 million) deal propelled WebBeds to become the world’s second largest B2B player globally, comprising FIT Ruums, JacTravel, Sunhotels and Lots of Hotels.
With this global coverage, FIT Ruums will be working with travel agents across the globe to drive more business to its hotel partners in Japan. The company is now busy contracting in Japan, with a focus on securing the best rates for its partners worldwide at a broad range of hotels across the country, including new and unique properties, international hotels and traditional ryokans. This will allow Japanese hoteliers who partner FIT Ruums to generate significant new international business.
“We are delighted to announce the launch of our first office in Japan,” said Daryl Lee, CEO of FIT Ruums. “This is the perfect time to enter Japan, as the country’s travel and tourism industry grows from strength to strength.
“Driven by the continued growth of intra-regional travel in Asia, the proliferation of new airlines and routes, and the enduring appeal of Japanese culture, Japan’s tourism industry is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented growth. With the promise of major international events on the horizon, we believe that Japan will become a major global force in the travel and tourism industry in the coming years.
“Moving ahead, we look forward to forging strong relationships with our travel partners in Japan for the benefit of the entire region,” Mr Lee added.
For international travel agencies seeking a single partner to help them access the Japanese market, FIT Ruums is the perfect “one-stop shop”, providing comprehensive content and breaking down language and cultural barriers. FIT Ruums is now ramping up its contracting activities across Japan, making the country’s hotels available worldwide via WebBeds’ multiple B2B distribution channels. These include FIT Ruums, which will drive short-haul business from across Asia, plus JacTravel, Sunhotels and Lots of Hotels which will generate long-haul B2B bookings from key markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North & South America.
By leveraging API connectivity technology and partnering with key stakeholders in Japan’s travel market, FIT Ruums aims to become a key player in the booming Japanese travel sector. Under the company’s motto, “Always Stronger Together”, its goal is to develop deep and lasting relationships with Japan’s travel industry partners.
“We are very pleased to hear that FIT Ruums, a major new B2B company, has decided to start operating in Japan. This will enable us to further expand our business opportunities worldwide, as we welcome even more guests from all over the world,” said Jun Shinohara, Hotel Manager of the Tokyo Marriott Hotel.
Japan’s travel industry has been on a steep upward trajectory for several years. The country welcomed a record 24 million international visitors in 2016, up 22% year-on-year, and it is on track to exceed this number in 2017, having already received 18.9 million arrivals in the first eight months of this year.
The Japanese government is now targeting 40 million international arrivals by 2020 and a staggering 60 million visitors by 2030. If this figure is achieved, it would make Japan one of the world’s most popular global tourism destinations. Much of this growth is being driven by the intra-Asian market, with visitor arrivals from Mainland China, South Korea and Taiwan showing consistently strong improvements.
A year after it arrived on the Asian travel scene, the launch of FIT Ruums’ tenth regional office means it is well on its way to achieving its aim of becoming the only B2B travel distributor truly dedicated to entire Asia region.
With the establishment of an office in Japan, the world’s third largest economy and one of the world’s fastest-growing major global destinations, FIT Ruums and WebBeds are continuing to expand in key markets for the benefit of the entire industry.