- Our History
As a reference for the travel industry both in Japan and worldwide, with over 100 years of expertise and innovation, JTB has an amazing history. Here are some of the major events and expansions that helped shape JTB into the global leading company that it is today.
The “Kihinkai” (Welcome Society) is established as Japan’s first organization to attract foreign visitors.
On March 12, the Japan Tourist Bureau (JTB) is founded, as a collaboration between the government and the private sector in order to promote travel to Japan by travelers from overseas, taking on the mission of the “Kihinkai”.
Inquiry offices are opened in Dalian, Gyeongseong (modern day Seoul) and Taipei.
The magazine “Tourist” reporting about tourism business in Japan based on detailed investigation is launched both in Japan and abroad.
1913 August in America
Opened “Japan Tourist Bureau” information desk in New York.
Published an official English guidebook “Japan”, and distributed to many global organizations in many countries.
1914 March in Europe
Opened “Japan Tourist Bureau” inquiry office in Berlin.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Railways to sell tickets to foreign visitors.
The JTB emblem was created for the cover of “Tourist” magazine. This is the first promotional material for JTB.
Signed agency agreement with Thomas Cook and started to sell traveler's check and various tickets.
The magazine “Travel” was launched to promote leisure trips in the Japan market.
Launched the “Train Timetable”, which will later become the “JTB Timetable”, which is still being published nowadays.
Started selling domestic railway tickets and “special coupons” (railway & accommodation) to Japanese customers.
Issued Japan's first Traveler's Check in Japanese Yen.
Held a Japan Day in New York and exhibitions introducing Japan at the Roxy Theater and Columbia University in New York.
Start selling accommodation vouchers for designated ryokan, which were included in the Special coupons.
Start of operations and arrangements for conducted group tours, organized by the Ministry of Railways.
JTB is instrumental in the evacuation of over 4000 Jews escaping from the Nazis to America via Japan during WWII.
Accredited as an IATA travel agent.
First edition of the calendar “Tabi no Egoyomi” is published.
The first series tour for foreign tourists called “Nikko” (a prototype of “SUNRISE TOURS”) operated.
1957 February in America
Opened New York office.
1957 March in America
Opened Los Angeles office.
Headquarters building in Marunouchi is completed.
50th Anniversary of JTB's foundation, published a special book “Japan” with many beautiful pictures of Japan with Japanese/English texts.
1962 August in Asia Pacific region
Opened Sydney office.
1963 November in America
Opened Chicago office.
1963 November in Europe
Opened representative office in Paris. This office will later become a branch office in 1972.
Demutualization to establish JAPAN TRAVEL BUREAU Inc. as a joint stock corporation.
1964 January in America
JTB International, Inc. is established in New York with a local subsidiary in the office. A San Francisco office is also established.
SUNRISE TOURS is launched for the Japan inbound travel market.
Handling operations for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the first Olympic Games held in Asia.
1964 October in America
Established Honolulu office.
1967 March in Asia Pacific region
Opened representative office in Hong Kong.
The LOOK brand is launched for guided tours for Japanese customers to visit abroad.
Arrangements provided for 12 million people at the 1970 World Exposition held in Osaka.
JTB Launches the ACE brand for domestic tours.
1973 January in Europe
Opened representative office in London. This office will later become a branch office in 1974.
1973 February in Europe
Opened representative office in Geneva. This office will later become a branch office in 1974.
1973 March in Europe
Opened representative office in Rome. This office will later become a branch office in 1975.
1973 May in Micronesia
Established Guam branch office.
“Rurubu” Magazine is launched to promote leisure trips both inside & outside of Japan for Japanese customers.
1975 December in Micronesia
Acquired a local coach company to establish Lam Lam Tours & Transportation.
1976 March in Micronesia
Tasi Tours & Transportation, Inc. is established.
International Congress Service is established for high-quality work in the fields of international congresses, academic conferences, corporate events, trade shows and the management of various programs.
1981 December in Europe
Travel Plaza Europe is established, which is a parent company of all companies we have in Europe.
1982 March in Europe
Paris office becomes a local subsidiary, established as JTB France S.A.S.
1982 March in Europe
JTB Germany GmbH is established in Frankfurt.
“Mori no nigiwai”, a new festival to promote folk local culture becomes a regular JTB event.
Start to sell Japan Rail Pass as an official agent of JR.
1982 August in America
Established Canadian subsidiary JTB International (Canada) Ltd. in Toronto.
1982 December in China
Opened an inquiry office in Beijing, the first office in China.
Founded “JTB Goodwill Foundation” in Hawaii to promote cross cultural communications between Japan and Hawaii.
1983 April in America
Established Vancouver branch office.
1983 June in Europe
London office become a local corporation with the function of regional headquarters of JTB offices in Europe, established as JTB UK Ltd.
SUNRISE TOURS served over 3,000,000 customers since its opening.
1985 June in America
Sunrise Plaza Inc. is established in Los Angeles to do coach operations.
JTB Tourist Spot Cleanup Campaign launched to maintain clean touristic spots and engage with local communities.
1985 December in Micronesia
Pacific Micronesia Tours, Inc. is established in Tokyo as a sales headquarters for the Japanese market to visit Guam, Saipan and other islands in Micronesia.
1986 April in America
Opened Banff office to cover services in Canadian rocky mountain area.
1986 July in China
Opened an inquiry office in Shanghai, China.
1987 March in Europe
Vienna branch office is established in Austria.
1987 March in Europe
JTB Viajes Spain S.A. is established with a branch office in Madrid.
1987 April in Asia Pacific region
Sydney office becomes a local subsidiary and is established as JTB Australia PTY Limited.
1987 June in Asia Pacific region
Opened representative office in Singapore. In October, it became a local subsidiary and is established as JTB PTE Ltd to start hotel bookings.
1987 August in Asia Pacific region
Opened Gold coast office in Australia.
1987 December in America
Spin off some of the business in JTBI Canada to form Tourland Travel Ltd.
1988 January in Asia Pacific region
JTB Oceania PTY Limited is established with the function of headquarter of JTB offices in Oceania.
JTB World Vacations Co., Ltd. begins wholesale sales of “Look” packages tours for Japanese market to travel overseas.
1988 July in China
MY BUS (Hong Kong) Ltd. is established to operate sightseeing bus tours in Hong Kong.
Renamed JTB Inc., and the brand logo with the corporate colors were redesigned.
1988 October in America
Established the Torrance Extension Office near Los Angeles.
1988 December in Asia Pacific region
JTB New Zealand Limited is established.
1989 March in Micronesia
PMT Guam Corporation is established to manage companies in Guam.
Establishment of JI Accident & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., in a joint venture with AIG of the United States.
1990 February in America
Opened sales office in Orlando, Florida, the U.S.
1990 March in Europe
JTB Greece E.P.E. is established as a joint venture with Hellenic Tours in Athens.
1990 June in Asia Pacific region
Opened representative office in Bangkok. This office becomes JTB Thailand Ltd. in October.
1990 June in Asia Pacific region
JTB (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Is established in Kuala Lumpur.
1990 August in Europe
My Bus UK is established to operate sightseeing bus tours in U.K.
1990 August in Asia Pacific region
Acquired local land operator to form STC (Southeast Travel Center) to do direct operations in Taiwan.
1990 September in Europe
My Bus Italy S.R.L. is established to operate sightseeing bus tours in Italy.
1990 November in Micronesia
T.P. Micronesia, Inc. is established to manage Lam Lam Tours & Transportation.
1990 November in America
Opened sales office in New Jersey, the U.S.
1990 December in America
Honolulu Branch Office is divided to form JTB Hawaii Inc.
1991 February in Europe
JTB UK Ltd. changed company name to JTB Europe Ltd.
1991 March in America
JTB Americas Ltd. is established as a regional headquarters of the U.S. mainland, Canada and Hawaii.
1991 April in Europe
Opened sales office in Milano, Italy.
1991 May in Asia Pacific region
PT. JTB Indonesia is established in Jakarta.
1991 October in Asia Pacific region
Opened sales office in Bali, Indonesia.
1992 January in Europe
Spin off of the local operation function from JTB Europe Ltd. to form JTB UK Ltd.
1992 April in Europe
Geneva office become a local subsidiary, established as JTB Switzerland S.A.
1992 April in America
Spin off of the transportation division of Sunrise Plaza, Inc. to form Sunrise Plaza Transportation Co.
JTB DATA SERVICE, Inc., is established as a special subsidiary to promote employment of persons with disabilities.
Construction of the group headquarters' training center “Foresta” is completed in Tama City.
1993 August in Europe
JTB Netherlands B.V. is established and opened Amsterdam office.
1994 June in Europe
My Bus France is established.
Celebration of the 1st Honolulu festival which is Hawaii’s premier cultural event, promoting mutual understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region.
Oli Oli trolleys, the circular bus service in Honolulu, implemented in Hawaii for Look JTB passengers.
1996 June in Europe
Rome Branch Office is divided from Travel Plaza Europe to form JTB Italy S.R.L.
1996 November in America
JTB Americas moved company headquarters from New York to Los Angeles.
1997 April in America
Spin off of the outbound division in the U.S. to form JTB USA, Inc.
1997 December in America
Sunrise Plaza Transportation of Nevada, Inc., a coach company in the Las Vegas area is established.
Handling of The 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
Start of full scale online sales on “JTB INFO CREW” system to sell travel products with online payment.
1998 December in Europe
City Circle UK Ltd. is established as a joint venture with Miki Travel in U.K.
The JTB Code of Conduct is formulated.
JTB BENEFIT SERVICE Corp. is established to handle the outsourcing of welfare and other benefts.
Internet travel sales company Tavigator, Inc. established jointly with Yahoo Japan Corp. and the Softbank Group.
2000 April in China
JTB New Century International Tours Co., Ltd. is established in Beijing, China.
JTB-CWT Business Travel Solutions, Inc., is established as a business travel company, in a joint venture with Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT).
Renamed from JAPAN TRAVEL BUREAU Inc. to JTB Corp. and Head Office moves to Tennozu in Tokyo.
Handled all official transportation and other tours relating to the FIFA World Cup jointly hosted by Korea and Japan.
JTB Group Environmental Declaration enactment.
ACE JTB customers top 10 million/year.
2004 January in Asia Pacific region
STC in Taiwan is reorganized to establish JTB Taiwan Ltd.
All the Publishing operations in JTB Group combined to form JTB Publishing Inc.
Celebration of the 2005 Japan-Korea Friendship Year. “Mori No Nigiwai” festival held in South Korea.
2005 April in Japan
Spin off of the Japan Inbound division in JTB Headquarters to form JTB Global Marketing and Travel.
Transfer to a new management structure (segmentalization of business to split-up the company), and “Your Global Lifestyle Partner” designated as the new Group tie-line.
JTB Americas reorganized from a pure holding company to an operation and holding company to build a business and sales structure encompassing 17 companies in Canada, the USA and Hawaii.
Establishment of J&J Business Development Corp., as a joint venture with JCB Co., Ltd. , a credit card company to expand new business.
“JAPANiCAN.com” launched to provide online multilingual services for overseas visitors to Japan.
2007 April in America
America Travel LLC is established as a joint venture with STW USA in the U.S.
2007 May in America
JTB Global Travel Services became a member of JTB Group.
2007 May in Korea
LOTTE JTB Co., Ltd is established in South Korea as a joint venture with LOTTE Group.
2007 June in America
Tachibana Enterprises, LLC becomes part of the JTB Group.
2007 June in China
JTB China Corp is established as a regional headquarters of China.
2007 August in Asia Pacific region
JTB (Macau) Travel Ltd. is established.
2008 January in Europe
Tumlare Group became a member of JTB Group.
2008 January in China
JTB (Guangzhou) International Tours Co., Ltd. is established.
2008 February in America
Silkway Travel and Cruise Inc. became a member of JTB Group.
2008 April in Asia Pacific region
JTB-TNT Co. Ltd. is established as a joint venture with T&T in Vietnam.
Handling of the Hokkaido Toyako Summit (34th G8 Summit).
2008 August in America
Lassen Tours becomes a member of JTB Group.
Global Business Unit (GBU) headquarters is formed in JTB Group headquarters to expand global business.
JTB Timetable 1,000th issue.
GMT merge with JAPANiCAN, and start to accept credit card settlement with China Union Pay.
2010 October in Asia Pacific region
Star Holiday Mart Pte Ltd becomes a member of JTB Group.
2010 October in Asia Pacific region
Singapore Alive Pte Ltd becomes a member of JTB Group.
“Rurubu” is offcially recognized as the largest selling travel guide series in the world, by the Guinness Book of Records™.
Handling of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference.
Formulation of a new Group brand message, “The JTB Way.”
In China, NEW CENTURY INTERNATIONAL TOUR CO., LTD. acquired the permission for overseas travel sales for Chinese citizens. In September of the same year, the company started to sell a travel product, “Youyi.”
2011 November in Asia Pacific region
JTB India Private Limited. is established.
100th anniversary of JTB foundation.
Served 7,178 people at the London Olympics.
2013 July in Asia Pacific region
JTB Polestar Co., Ltd. is established in Myanmar.
2013 November in America
Established JTB LATINO AMÉRICA PARTICIPAÇÕES LTDA. and JTB BRASIL PARTICIPAÇÕES LTDA. as the holding company in each respective region and country.
Grupo Alatur and JTB Americas, Ltd. established Alatur JTB Viagens e Turismo S. A. (Alatur JTB) as a joint venture in Brazil.
2014 March in Asia Pacific region
Dynasty Travel International Pte. Ltd. in Singapore becomes part of the JTB Group.
JTB Kumamoto Relations Center established to outsource the backyard tasks of the sales functions.
2014 April in Asia Pacific region
PT. Kura Kura Indonesia, a coach company in Bali is established.
2014 July in Europe
Europamundo Vacaciones in Spain becomes a member of JTB Group.
Signing of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Ethics Charter.
2014 September in China
JTB Tours Shanghai Co., LTD. is established as a joint venture with East Travel Co. Ltd., Shanghai.
2014 October in America
Quickly Travel Agência de Viagens e Turismo Ltda. (Quickly Travel) became a member of Alatur JTB Group in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
State of Hawaii declares October 1, 2014 as “JTB Day”, commemorating the 50th anniversary of JTB Honolulu Branch opening.
2014 December in Asia Pacific region
Tour East Holdings Pte Ltd becomes a member of the JTB Group.
2015 January in America
Merger of JTB USA, Inc. & JTB International, Inc. to form JTB USA, Inc.
2015 April in Asia Pacific region
JTB Philippines is established.
“JTB Sports” established as new brand to promote tours related to sports.
JTB concludes Official Travel Service Partner agreement for 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
JTB Communication design Inc., a specialized company in arranging meetings, conventions or trade shows is established.
2017 January in America
MC&A in Hawaii becomes a member of JTB Group.
2017 March in Asia Pacific region
PT Panorama JTB Tours is established as a joint venture with Panorama Group in Indonesia.
JTB University (Global) launches in Singapore.
JTB Singapore's 30th anniversary, coinciding with the celebration of 50 years of Japan-Singapore diplomatic relations.
Kuoni Global Travel Services becomes a member of JTB Group