JTB is accelerating digital transformation combined with human-touch services, trying to break away from paper brochures

Under the midterm management plan announced in November last year, JTB has reorganized its business structure into three business fields of ‘Tourism,’ ‘Area Solution’ and ‘Business Solution,’ all of which are propped by digital-based human-touch services. 

For Tourism, JTB shifts its selling channels from retailers or call centers to smart devices-oriented Online Mergers with Offline (OMO). Nobuaki Fukumoto, JTB Managing Executive Officer, explained at ‘JTB Diversity Week 2020’ “We encourage customers to access JTB Group on smart phones or tablets, and retailer staff serve them if necessary.” At the same time, JTB is accelerating to shift from price-fixed paper brochures to flexible pricing dynamic packages. 

For Area Solution, JTB will build a service platform for local tourism operators to create new solutions and products, providing assistances by JTB staff. 

For Business Solution, JTB will support organizations or companies to solve issues visualized through data analysis of employees and help them develop digital marketing. 

Fukumoto mentioned ‘Connected Trip’ as a keyword of JTB’s digitalization to provide customers with seamless services from before-traveling to in-destination and even after-traveling. Concretely, JTB is addressing personalized proposals based on shopping data and improvement of local tourism products based on customer satisfaction. 

“Major OTAs try to acquire regular customers, not one-time customers, and Google is extending the travel services. We have to recognize such threats are coming closer,” Fukumoto said. “JTB already has a variety of digital solutions and also a retailer network and human resources. It is important for us to connect those advantages as One JTB.”

The traditional travel industry’s business model is to obtain commission for travel agents or OTAs to connect between suppliers and end users, however Fukumoto said that the blockchain technology will enable to establish a new business model to collect usage fees by offering a platform directly connecting between suppliers and end users, though he added that JTB still continues studying the blockchain technology. 

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