(Yicai Global) May 21 -- Chinese online travel platform Ctrip.Com International Ltd. has introduced its first credit card in Japan to tap into the country's tourism market, which is also the company's first credit card outside its home market.
The Trip.com Global Card card is a result of Ctrip's cooperation with UnionPay International, a subsidiary focusing on international business of China's UnionPay, the country's top bank card clearing service, and Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., one of Japan's largest credit card suppliers, reported Nihon Keizai Shimbun on May 15.
Ctrip aims to "provide travel merchandise on a global scale," said Jane Jie Sun, president of Ctrip.Com International, while introducing the card at a press conference on May 15. The credit card will be released under the UnionPay brand on June 6 with hotel reservations and other discounts provided through Trip.com website. Ctrip expects to issue "more than 1 million cards" in the coming years, Sun added.
Ctrip's new international brand, Trip.com, was put into operation in Japan last year, providing Japanese customers with worldwide travel products and 24/7 Japanese language services, she said.
Japan's online travel market is expected to grow 15 percent annually by 2020 due to the rise of low-cost operators and recovery in the sector, according to data from industry research firm Phocuswright Inc.
"The number of tourists visiting Japan in 2015 exceeded that of outbound tourists, but the number of tourists traveling abroad did not decrease," said Ken Kubo, president of Sumitomo Mitsui Card, "We can use these credit cards to provide services to Japanese tourists."
Ctrip maintains an office in Tokyo since 2014, but its main business is to serve Chinese tourists visiting Japan. Since its opening, it has established alliances with accommodation providers, airlines and other related companies.
Editor: Mevlut Katik