Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 209

CONSIDERATIONS ON CONSTRUCTING NEW BUSINESS MODELS IN TRAVEL BUSINESS 2.2. Predicaments of Travel Agents Many travel agents are also in predicaments. Some were forced to change due to changes in capital-based relationships, others to reduce largely. Tokyu Tourist, which used to be one of the four largest travel agents designated by the Japan National Railway in the 1980s, was first sold to an investment company and is now affiliated to Tobu Railway under the name of Tobu Top Tours. The travel divi- sion of Nippon Express has branches in all of the 47 prefectures in Japan while companies having a scale of 2,000 workers are only present in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Kobe, and the average number of employees 5 has largely reduced to approximately 310. However, others such as H.I.S and Rakuten Travel are expand- ing their business. It seems that both of them are achieving good business results by seeking for new business models while companies still expanding conventional type business are having hard times. Chapter 3: Branding Strategies of Travel Agents 3.1. Many Travel Agents have no Peerless Brand Images There are not many travel agents including large-scaled, small to medium and individual companies who set force brand equities 6 , and many of them are mere intermediary agents. This might also be a reason airline companies positively promote direct sales. The following results were obtained in a survey conducted in May 2015 7 . While some affirmative opinions such as “they are cheaper than making direct arrangements” were made, they are exceeded by the opinion “don’t care much”. This indicates that branding strategies of travel agents are still weak, and opinions which are negative or not affirmative are a problem. Table 1 - Image of Travel Agents 1. Their presence is of no meaning in the age of the Internet 2. They merely charge additional charges 3. Don’t care much 4. They give advice and are thus good 5. They are cheaper than making direct arrangements 6. Others return to the content page 209