SHANGHAI, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's biggest online travel agency Ctrip has inked a strategic cooperation agreement with Yokohama to boost the appeal of the Japanese city to global travelers, Chinese tourists in particular.
File photos: VCG
The two sides will partner in tourism product development and destination branding among others, according to a Ctrip statement released Tuesday.
The move is expected to facilitate two-way travel between China and Japan and jointly develop the cross-border cultural tourism industry, according to Ctrip CEO Jane Sun. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of sister-city ties between Yokohama and Shanghai, where Ctrip is headquartered.
Japan is one of Chinese tourists' favorite travel destinations. China remains Japan's largest source of travelers for three consecutive years, according to Ctrip, citing Japanese official data. The company predicted Chinese visitors will make more than 8 million trips to Japan this year, a record high.
Ctrip has been investing heavily in exploring Japanese market in recent years. The company established a Japanese branch to better serve travelers to Japan in 2015. Earlier this year, it launched Trip.com, an independent brand primarily serving clients in Asia Pacific markets, in Tokyo to offer timely travel-related services.
Construction of an around-the-clock Ctrip call center in Japan is currently underway, the statement said.
The Nasdaq-listed firm looks to gain a bigger global tourism market share by accelerating international business expansion. The company's third-quarter financial report showed that monthly active users (MAUs) on its major overseas platforms accounted for nearly half of Ctrip's total global MAUs, while its gross merchandise volume for Q3 2018 grew about 30 percent year on year to hit 690 billion yuan (about 99.32 billion U.S. dollars), topping global peers.