Thomas Cook aims to boost travel between China and Japan through a new partnership.

Thomas Cook China, a joint venture with Fosun Tourism Group, has signed an agreement with inbound Japanese travel agency Hanatour Japan to establish a destination management company in the country.

The new collaboration will initially focus on inbound tourism business from China.

This will combine Thomas Cook China’s technology and distribution channels in the Chinese market with Hanatour’s local resources and experience to develop new products and services for the growing number of Chinese independent travellers.

Japan is the fastest growing tourist destination for Chinese travellers and is already one of the largest destinations of Thomas Cook China’s outbound business.

More than eight million Chinese travellers visited Japan last year, an increase of 12% over 2017.

Thomas Cook China CEO Alessandro Dassi said: “Our new partnership with Hanatour Japan will give Thomas Cook China greater access and better control of the hotels and services we offer in Japan, allowing us to accelerate growth into this key market for Chinese travellers.

“We are excited by the prospect of working closely with Hanatour Japan to offer more choice and improved quality to our Chinese customers.”

Hanatour Japan president and CEO Byung-Chan Lee added: “We are delighted to partner with an iconic brand such as Thomas Cook.

“We believe that inbound tourism from China will continue to grow over the next 5-10 years.

“Our new joint venture with Thomas Cook China gives us an opportunity to better leverage our existing resources to gain a share in this market.”