Monday, December 17, 2007

Japan India tourism set to boom

The Telegraph repoorted today that Thomas Cook entered into a MoU with JTB of Japan for promoting tourism between the two countries. It in indeed heartening as quality standards are likely to be upped as a result. Editor

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Mumbai, Dec. 16: Thomas Cook India has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s largest travel company, JTB Corp.

The alliance will give Thomas Cook access to the Japanese firm’s network in 30 countries along with affiliates spread across 800 offices.

It will also allow JTB Corp a ready platform to enter the Indian market.

“We hope to increase the number of visitors between both countries to around 300,000 by 2010, which will be nearly double the numbers in 2005. Already, 2007 has been designated as the India-Japan tourism exchange year. We were looking at Japan as a target country for inbound and outbound tourism,” said Udayan Bose, chairman of Thomas Cook India.

The travel co-operation arrangements would be for inbound, outbound and corporate travel across markets such as Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the US.

“India’s economic growth is driving travel and tourism industry strongly. India is an attractive market and we had been planning to enter this market for a while,” said Ken Hibino, executive director of JTB Corp.

Thomas Cook is expecting tremendous growth in its corporate travel business, as it would now have access to the global relationships of JTB Corp.

“With business travel growing at 20 per cent, this alliance will drive our corporate travel business,” said Thomas Cook (India) MD Madhavan Menon.

Thomas Cook India operates 170 offices across the country and was acquired by Dubai Financial Group LLC in 2006.

The company, which is celebrating 125 years in India, has been employing both inorganic and organic routes for expansion.

Last year, it merged with LKP Forex Ltd and bought Travel Corp Pvt Ltd.

JTB is present in over 1,000 locations across Japan. It also has 82 bases in 74 cities outside Japan.

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