“Without such pivotal moment,
JTC of today wouldn’t be here.”
Started from Beppu
Mr. Chulmo Ku, CEO, who majored in tourism management at a university in Japan, acquired a license for a Tax-free shop, and opened his first Tax-free location in Beppu, one of Japan’s leading tourist attractions.
Developed into a hot springs resort area in the days of Meiji, Beppu ranks highest in Japan and second worldwide in terms of the yield of hot water flowing from its hot springs. As an attractive tourist spot that has maintained sisterhood relationships with Beaumont (U.S.), Mokpo (Korea), Jeju (Korea), Rotorua (New Zealand), Yantai (China) and Bath (U.K.) since the 1980s, Beppu actively promotes friendship with other cities reputed for international exchange. In here JTC marked a significant milestone in its history.
Advanced to Tokyo
With the 'Visit JAPAN Campaign,' a strategic campaign launched on a nationwide level in 2003 onward, state and regional public organizations and civilian corporations came together to introduce a campaign to promote a rapid expansion of Japan-bound tourism. In those early years, the so-called the ‘golden route,’ a tour itinerary that tours from Tokyo – Mt. Fuji – Nagoya – Kansai Area was attracting tourists.
Under such circumstances, JTC made its way into Tokyo, the starting point of the ‘golden route’ that attracts the great majority of overseas tourists visiting Japan, and embarked on a full-swing countrywide expansion drive. Later, the company increased in capital stock twice, and made its way into Osaka and Nagoya, accelerating a countrywide deployment.
JTC induces multi-national tourists, headed by Korean tourists later joining their Chinese counterparts.
While some of the tourist f have exclusively been assigned to apply for visas for Chinese group tourists only since September 2000, the requirements for visa issuance were eased in 2010, which noticeably helped to induce Chinese tourists to visit Japan.
This touched off an all-time high in the number of tourists to Japan in 2010, headed by tourists from China, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. JTC started to explore specific strategies to induce multinational tourists as well as those from Korea.
Head office functions transferred from Beppu to Fukuoka
The share of tourists from the Asian region out of the overall tourists visiting Japan reached 78.5%, 79.1%, 79.4%, in 2010, 2011, 2012, respectively, showing remarkably high levels. Active international exchanges have been made starting from Asia and expanding globally since a long time ago. Under such circumstances, the JTC head office was relocated to “Fukuoka City,” widely known as a bridgehead into Asia.
This has enabled the company to maximize contact with the company’s business partners, helping to further enhance the head office functions by promptly ascertaining customer trends and quickly reflecting on managerial decisions.
Opportunities for a range of shopping choices by creating diversified store brands based on differing concepts.
(To accommodate cruises)
The number of tourists visiting Japan reached 19,740,000 individuals or about 1.5 as many as the figure for 2014, and the number for 2016 rose to 24,040,000 individuals year. In accordance with the rising number of foreign tourists visiting Japan, JTC expanded its coverage by adding another 20 stores during the 2nd quarter of 2016, thereby accelerating a store multiplication strategy.
At the same time, while introducing RAKUICHI and Seikatsu Hiroba stores, in a differing concept in addition to the existing store brands including “JTC,” “AKA JEWELRY,” and “KOO SKIN”, the company has been providing a variety of pleasures, responsive to customer needs.
With the Asian cruise market rapidly growing and led by China, the number of travelers who entered Japan via cruises in 2015 reached 1.1 million people, marking a 2.7 times increase over the figure for the previous year (416,000 individuals). The number noticeably increased to roughly 2 million individuals, making a sharp rise, while signaling that the upward trend is likely to continue in the near future.
While a cruise is calling at a port, the company is making a variety of lineups so that shopping can be done efficiently within the timeframe of a landing.
DOTON PLAZA opened in the concept of a combined package and FIT
Possibly influenced by the fact that group tours are becoming the common type of travel preferred by the majority of Chinese tourists visiting Japan, 80% of tourists from Asia visiting the country are regarded as ‘group tourists.’ However, FIT (Foreign Independent Tour or Free Individual (Independent) Traveler) travelers are on the steady rise particularly on their second travel to Japan onward.
While JTC stores were patronized mainly by tourists on a B2B package program so far, the company opened “DOTON PLAZA,” a commercial facility in downtown Osaka in April 2017 as a means to induce individual free tourists currently becoming commonplace.