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FCM has opened a new office in Tokyo, hoping to boost current low travel management company adoption rates in Japan with a direct-to-market strategy.
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FCM has been working with Japanese clients via partnerships with Japanese agencies, but the TMC says it will better be able to fill market gaps with an owned-and-operated office, according to FCM general manager Kenichi Shiraishi. "We will increase our direct-to-market engagement throughout Japan to elevate our reach," he said in a statement. "Simultaneously, we will be extending the opportunity territory to global companies with Japanese operations."
Japan is currently the fourth-largest business travel market in the world, but companies there largely manage travel in-house, with fewer than 15 per cent currently using TMCs, according to FCM. In a December 2021 survey of 818 Japanese travel managers currently not working with a TMC, 88 per cent said they had a need to digitise business travel arrangements, and 81 per cent said working through a company-designated agency would enable business travel to be arranged more easily and safely, FCM reported.
"Japan is without a doubt an exciting and dynamic market for business travel," Bertrand Saillet, FCM managing director for Asia, said in a statement. "Not only are we seeing strong demand from existing customers, prospects across Asia are also expressing strong interest for TMC support too. To harness the growth potential and capitalise on this trajectory, we are pleased to have solidified our presence while bringing onboard a slew of local talents to our Japanese team."