Expedia CEO Indicates Strengthened Investment in the Japanese Market, Aims to Improve Customer Support

Expedia is marking its 18th year of service in Japan with a brand refresh and the implementation of new marketing strategies. During an announcement, Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and CEO of Expedia Group, and John Kim, the overseer of brand, visited Japan and held a press conference in Tokyo.

According to Expedia, searches for “Tokyo” on its service have increased approximately 55% year-on-year for two consecutive years. In 2023, among visitors to Japan from outside Asia, the most came from the United States, with about 50% of these travelers being serviced by the company’s group. CEO Kern stated, “Japan is a wonderful destination. As an online travel agency (OTA), we want to continually send customers here,” and expressed his intention to “work diligently not only to encourage travel to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto but also to lesser-known cities, in cooperation with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and other agencies.”

▲John Kim, overseer of brand at Expedia Group

Expedia Group has recently been enhancing initiatives using generative AI like Chat GPT and machine learning. It has implemented four new features: a “Dynamic Travel Guide” that proposes optimal travel times, nearby destinations, and activity information for each city, a “Trip Planner” that saves travel plans for flights, hotels, and activities for sharing with family and friends, a “Price Tracker” that informs about fluctuations in airfare prices, and “Smart Shopping” that helps in selecting hotels by comparing prices, amenities, evaluations, and more. Mr. Kim expressed confidence, stating, “We’ve harnessed AI to provide more personalized recommendations.”

For the Japanese market, a new brand tagline “Beyond the Usual” has been announced, replacing the previous “Made To Travel”. Coinciding with the brand refresh, Expedia has started airing a TV commercial titled “Two Step,” embedding the message of stepping out of the everyday and enjoying a new world through Expedia’s services. The company has initiated an advertising partnership with Netflix this year, and the new commercial is the first content for the Japanese market under this partnership.

▲Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and CEO of Expedia Group

Furthermore, an enhancement to its customer support for the Japanese market was announced. During the first quarter, it will start to offer 24-hour Japanese language phone support, in addition to launching chat support service on X (formerly Twitter). CEO Kern emphasized the importance of customer service by saying, “There were lessons to be learned in 2023. To be seen as the OTA that offers the best service, trust in our customer service needs to be built over time,” and mentioned, “especially towards Japan, we are intensifying our investments.”

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The translation may not be accurate.