The world’s largest online accommodation booking site Booking.com is expanding its business in Japan. James Whitemore, Booking.com Regional Director North Asia, said at an explanatory meeting for media in Tokyo on July 28 that Booking.com is trying to increase contract hotels and users to raise its presence in Japan, which is now center of global tourism. The online booking site is particularly taking positive actions for the growing inbound travel market of Japan.
Having a goal to increase hotels from 7,000 today to 10,000 by the end of 2016, Booking.com is enriching the operation system in Japan by doubling Japanese-speaking call center staff from 100 up to 200 and also increasing staff involving sales activity, partnership with properties and content creation by 15% to 30% compared to today. Also, a new office will open in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture in November this year in addition to Omotesando, Shibuya, Osaka, Fukuoka and Sapporo.
In addition, Booking.com has started broadcasting TV CM with a theme of‘Here’s to the Explorers,’ which contains a message that accommodation is not mere a place to stay but a base of adventure, targeting 20’s to 30’s FITs. Japan is the 8th country in the world Booking.com develops TV advertising campaign. Hironori Katsuse, Regional Manager Japan at Booing.com Japan, said, “We have consolidated our business base in Japan since we started the booking business in Japan in 2009. From now on, we are expanding our business in earnest.”
“Mobile is a big wave in e-commerce market,” Katsuse said. Booking.com has started providing Booking Now exclusively for last-minute booking on both iOS and Android in addition to existing Booking.com app.“Bookings through smart phone are increasing for sure,” Katsuse added.
Unique users visiting Booking.com reached 234 million a month as of January 2015. Focusing on localization, Booking.com makes efforts to make the simply and understandably designed website in Japanese and also translate more than 50 million user reviews in Japanese.