JTB – Japan’s largest travel agency – plans to increase online transactions from a current 7% in 2008/9 to a planned 12% in 2010/11. This action is in response to losing market share in a declining travel market, which shrunk 17% versus the previous twelve months ending September 2010, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.
To fund the online investment and expansion and to stem losses from traditional agency branches, JTB will be closing nearly 200 branches out of a total of 940.
JTB will aim to increase online partnerships with tourist bureaus and other organisations, doubling at the same time the number of travel packages and other products available online to around 300,000 items.
While JTB has to execute a successful online strategy, this is the kind of decisive business decision, which is required by JTB to retain their premier position in the long term.
What advice would you offer JTB?