Infrastructure for the Travel
and Tourism Industries
The travel industry
is growing at a remarkable pace. The outbound market continues to flourish,
while inbound travel is a highly promising market. JATA develops and
implements a wide range of measures that help make the market more
and improve the environment for both consumers and agents.
Japan Congress of International Travel & Travel Trade Show
The annual JATA World Tourism Congress seeks to increase global
understanding of Japan’s travel market and foster the growth of the
and tourism industry by bringing together some 1,000 travel professionals
from Japan and around the world for a day of in-depth discussion
centered on a particular marketing theme. Presentations by business
leaders and market innovators from all sectors of the industry provide
both new-to-market and experienced delegates with valuable insights
into the workings of the Japanese travel market.
JATA World Travel Fair is recognized as Asia's largest travel trade
and consumer travel exhibition. It provides a unique opportunity
for travel suppliers to reach the three key targets for travel promotion
- the travel trade, the media, and the traveling public - together
at one show. Through the cooperation of participating travel agencies
and travel suppliers, each event strives to set new trends in Japanese
travel by highlighting various travel styles, activities and destinations.
The ultimate goal of every JATA WTF is to strengthen awareness of
the travel and tourism industry and stimulate new demand for travel.
Travel Agents and Protecting Consumer Rights
JATA is responsible
for implementing three legal operations: settling customer complaints,
maintaining a compensation system, and conducting examinations and
training. These operations help travel agents maintain good customer
relations and address difficult issues that might arise between the two
Settling Customer Complaints - Fair Trade Practices Committee
- Consumer Services Desk
Consumer Services Desks located at the headquarters secretariat and
at various chapters settle consumer claims or complaints which travel
agencies are unable to resolve on their own.
- Seminars on complaint settlement
Seminars for member company staff in charge of consumer services
are held on a regular basis. These seminars train and educate
members about complaint settlements and provide consultation
and advice on specific customer complaints.
- Educating travelers
JATA produces a variety of brochures designed to enhance travelers'
understanding of the Travel Agency Law and the terms and conditions
of travel contracts. In addition, JATA provides lecturers for
seminars sponsored by consumer centers
Solving Complaints - Consumer Claims Settlement Commission
Generally a Consumer
Services Desk receives and tries to settle complaints from travelers.
However, if no settlement is reached after three months, the case
is passed on to the Consumer Claims Settlement Commission comprised
of academics, attorneys, and consumer representatives. The Commission
is tasked with deliberating and deciding the issue
in a reasonable manner.
Compensation System - Compensation Business Committee
Security Bonds System is a pro-rated, member contribution fund used
to repay debts that arise in the case of bankruptcy. The system protects
consumers from damages and strengthens the credibility of the travel
The Compensation Security Bonds System is operated under
the Compensation Business Rules authorized by the Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure and Transport. To ensure that this system is well
managed and that creditors receive proper relief, JATA audits the
causes of claims filed and the amounts of claims.
In order to offer adequate compensation for overseas travel, JATA
established the JATA Supplementary Security Bonds System in 1999.
Member companies operating agent-organized overseas tours are strongly
encouraged to secure a bond equivalent
to 1% of their projected proceeds from packaged outbound travel for
the following business year.
In case of default or bankruptcy, validated
claims can be compensated first through the Compensation Security
Bonds System and then out of the Supplementary Security Bonds System.
Guidelines for Online Travel Businesses
established a set of guidelines for selling
travel products over the Internet in 2000. These
guidelines are aimed at ensuring that electronic
business transactions are conducted on a sound
and healthy basis that will earn the trust of
consumers. To this end, the guidelines set out
clearly the rules that those in the travel industry
must observe when selling travel products or
carrying out other activities over the Internet.
Travel agencies meeting JATA's guidelines may
display the official "electronic-Travel
Business Trust" (e-TBT) logo on their web
sites. The placement of the e-TBT logo gives
the consumer an easily identifiable and concrete
way of telling the difference between reputable
travel providers and those that are not.
Training Travel Agents - Examination, Training and Education Committee
- Conducting examinations on behalf of the Government
JATA is designated by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
to conduct the state examination for Certified Travel Supervisors.
The Certified Travel Supervisor System, stipulated under Japan's Travel
Agency Law, mandates that agents engaging in overseas travel operations
maintain at least one certified travel supervisor in all of their offices.
Supervisors are responsible for placing and controlling advertising
in offices and for settling traveler's complaints. Supervisors must provide
travelers with written documents explaining the conditions required for travel
arrangements. In the case
of travel contracts, they must issue written documents that clearly state details
such as hotel accommodations, means of transportation, and travel costs.
- Implementing training programs
To enrich the
knowledge and abilities of travel agent employees, JATA conducts
training on tour management and training programs for certified
Instructing Members on Legal Issues - Legal Affairs Committee
The Travel Agency
Law was revised in 1996. At the same time, the Standard Terms and
Conditions of Travel Contracts were revised and the Travel Itinerary
Booking Guarantee was introduced. The latter compensates consumers
for substantial contract changes, even when travel agencies are not
responsible for such changes. This system
was established to protect consumers and avoid problems between consumers
and travel agencies. To promote understanding of the law, JATA distributes
leaflets and organizes seminars to explain the legal system and its
implications. In addition, JATA responds to inquiries and requests
for consultations and conducts briefings so that members can correctly
interpret relevant laws and ordinances, including the Antimonopoly
Act, the Premiums Representation Act, and other regulations.
JATA also provides advice on improving advertising so that representations
comply with the "Guideline for Producing Advertising and Brochures
to Solicit Participation in Agent-Organized Tours."
Studying Business Management - Managerial Issues Committee
The first annual
JATA Management Forum was held in 1993. Since then, travel business
executives have found it a valuable opportunity to discuss issues
and day-to-day problems. JATA conducts other seminars on business
management and operations, such as taxation, customer satisfaction
(CS), and middle management issues. For example, to provide assistance
in the event of an emergenciy and/or accident, JATA is studying, along
with conventional travel agency cost insurance, the development of
insurance plans that would cover support services such as the provision
of know-how and professional advice. Moreover, JATA implemented Travel
Itinerary Booking Guarantee in accordance with the Travel Agency
enacted in 1996.
Contributing to Society - Social Contributions Committee
Tourism cannot exist
in a deteriorating environment. Therefore the travel and tourism
industries have a strong impetus to support efforts which aid ecological
In addition to ongoing preparations for the JATA Environmental Fund,
JATA has undertaken several important projects.
- Eco-tourism seminars
JATA holds seminars
to encourage and study eco-tourism. Study trips and eco-tours are
organized so that seminar participants can visit destinations
are of interest to travelers concerned about the environment.
- Environmental awareness
JATA adopted the
"Declaration of Earth-Friendly Travelers," and promotes it through
posters and other media both for the industry and travelers.
- Promoting travel for the elderly and disabled
To cope with the
onset of an aging population and the need for a barrier-free society,
and to increase travel opportunities for both elderly and disabled
travelers, JATA conducts surveys, research, and PR. JATA has
guidelines and compiled handbooks so that members can cater to the needs
of these potential travelers.
PR Activities - Public Relations Committee
the digitalization of information and through its JATANAVI intranet
provides all members (active, associate and allied) with a wide range of information,
including overseas and domestic travel destination data and visa
regulations around the world.
JATA reaches out
to JATA members, travel and tourism industry professionals and general
consumers through its website, JATA-NET. The site provides up-to-date
information on travel campaigns, tips for safe travel, travel cautions
by other governments, together with a wide variety of practical travel