February 21, 2012
  • Rakuten Travel, Inc.

First local Rakuten affiliate in Southeast Asia set for March debut in Singapore

-Overseas operations boosted with new service hubs in Indonesia and San Francisco-

Rakuten Travel, Inc. (“Rakuten Travel,” President and CEO: Masashi Okatake, Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) will establish its first locally-incorporated affiliate for Southeast Asia. Rakuten Travel Singapore Pte. Ltd will be inaugurated on March 1, and is part of the company’s ramp-up of operations in the region. At the same time, Rakuten Travel will set up an overseas office in Indonesia under the umbrella of the Singaporean corporation. Meanwhile, Rakuten Travel USA Inc. will establish a new branch in San Francisco with the aim of strengthening Rakuten’s North American presence.

Rakuten Travel Singapore Pte. Ltd will be the central hub for sales activities in the Southeast Asian region, focusing initially on hotel reservations for Japanese travelers. The Indonesian office joins the existing Bangkok office, boosting Rakuten’s sales network in the region.

Rakuten Travel’s booking volume for Southeast Asian accommodations increased 41.3% in 2011 from the year before, with growth marked particularly in Singapore (50.9%) and Indonesia (46.5%). The new offices are expected to tap into more demand growth. A number of prominent international hotel chains are establishing their Asia-Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore. Rakuten will work to strengthen its relationships with hotels worldwide.

In North America, Rakuten Travel USA Inc. was established in December 2010, and since the New York offices opened, business has expanded rapidly. By boosting its hotel reservations, the volume of bookings on the US mainland increased 56.5% in 2011 (from 2010). The goals of opening a west coast branch in San Francisco to add to the existing east coast presence are to boost Rakuten’s accommodation handling business and expand the distribution network in the US.

Rakuten Travel is also expanding overseas operations through its Chinese affiliate, Shanghai Tabimado Co. Ltd., which is opening three new branches in the cities of Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Qingdao. The new initiatives in Southeast Asia are part of this drive. Rakuten will strive to further expand the online travel market in the Asian region by capitalizing on its overseas branch network to tap travel demand from China to Southeast Asia and beyond, as well as by improving its local marketing with local language websites.

Rakuten Travel is aiming for no less than to be the world’s no. 1 travel website, providing enhanced customer satisfaction and a diverse range of services and functions.

Reference information

◆ Travel overseas offices and dates of establishment
・Shanghai Tabimado Co., Ltd.                                             April 30, 2002
・Rakuten Travel Korea Co., Ltd. (Seoul branch)                   January 5, 2004
・Rakuten Travel Guam Inc.                                      March 12, 2007
・Rakuten Travel Inc., Bangkok office                                  June 9, 2008
・Shanghai Tabimado Co., Ltd. (Beijing branch)      August 20, 2009
・Rakuten Travel Inc., Hong Kong branch             August 7, 2009
・Rakuten Travel Inc., Taiwan branch                                 September 22, 2009
・Rakuten Travel Inc., Hawaii branch                                  October 6, 2009
*affiliated with Rakuten Travel USA Inc. (since January 1, 2011)
・Shanghai Tabimado Co., Ltd. (Guangzhou branch)      July 15, 2010
・Shanghai Tabimado Co., Ltd. (Dalian branch)      September 20, 2010
・Rakuten Travel USA Inc., New York branch                        December 23, 2010
・Rakuten Travel Korea Co., Ltd. (Pusan branch)                              July 6, 2011
・Rakuten Travel Lounge, Saipan                                    August 1, 2011
・Shanghai Tabimado Co. Ltd. (Hangzhou branch)            February 20, 2012
・Shanghai Tabimado Co. Ltd. (Nanjing branch)               March 2012 (planned)
・Shanghai Tabimado Co. Ltd. (Qingdao branch)             Early March 2012 (planned)

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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