[Nikkei Shimbun] The article coverd us published in Welcome to Japan Start-up runs (p.32)


2014/02/17

While government set tourism nation as policy, realaxation of visa for example, start-ups now spreading their business in Japan inbound tourism by its strength of mobility or unique plan.

FREEPLUS, IT start-up entered inbound tourism industry in 2010. Expanding their business by operating Japan tour arrangement for tourists from travel agency abroad.  Their strength is cooperation with 800 travel agencies in 14 countries and area which the president went and create bond by himself. The amount of people to accept in 2013 will be 4 times larger than prior year.
The reason why we increase our client 10 times more than big company is IT know-how said President Kentaro Suda. They are growing fast by start-up like mobility, such as searching engine optimized corporate website, develop system to create quotation in 15 minutes in shortest and going to release portal site that local government can promote tourism information in 7 languages.

According to JNTO(Japan National Tourism Organization), number of foreign people visited Japan increased from January to October 2013 increased to 8.66 million people, 23% larger compared to year before. The tourists were 6.62 million people out of them, 30% larger compare to year before. Though major Travel company JTB or H.I.S. also proactive to inbound business, because of its low unit price and difficulties to keep benefit, there is much rooms for start-ups to play, many experts say.

Chiiki Kassei Planning(Minato ward, Tokyo) which plan tour to go around locations of films, Trippiece(Shibuya ward, Tokyo) which use SNS to collect participants of the tour and the other new entry with its own strength. More start-ups must be entering growing Japan inbound tourism market.