China's biggest online travel agency Ctrip is seeking wider inroads into the Japanese tourism market by inking a partnership with a local railway operator.
Ctrip and East Japan Railway (JR-East) have a comprehensive strategic partnership to tap tourism resources in northeast Japan and woo more tourists to visit the island country.
As part of the cooperation, the digital transport pass JR East Pass will be promoted on Ctrip platforms to enable tourists to prepare travel in advance. JR East's railway tickets can also be bought in advance on Ctrip online platforms. The services will be available from May, according to Ctrip.
Japan is one of the most popular overseas travel destinations for Chinese tourists. Data from the Japan tourism authority shows that Chinese made 8.38 million trips to Japan in 2018, up 13.9 percent year on year.
Ctrip has been stepping up its presence in Japan in recent years. The company established a Japanese branch to better serve travelers to Japan in 2015. It last year launched Trip.com, an independent brand primarily serving clients in Asia Pacific markets, in Tokyo to offer timely travel-related services.