Tokyo, Japan, February 4, 2004 - JCB Co., Ltd., the international payment brand, is continuing to promote travel to Japan and increased inbound sales in conjunction with the 55th Sapporo Snow Festival, which runs from February 5 through February 11 in Sapporo City, Hokkaido. The JCB Sapporo Snow Festival Campaign follows the successful JCB Akihabara 10% Cash Back Campaign and Home Electronics Festival, also targeted at increasing international visitors and sales in Japan.
JCB, the only international card brand based in Japan, has more than 49 million cardmembers in 18 countries and territories around the world, and is proactively working to promote inbound tourism simultaneously with the Japanese government's Visit Japan Campaign. Additionally, JCB promotions take advantage of a local area's special characteristics to help revitalize the local economy.
In Sapporo, there will be three special JCB Sapporo Snow Festival Plazas located on the festival grounds offering customers service in English, Chinese and Korean - in addition to Japanese - as well as a lounge and free hot beverages. Visitors bringing their JCB card receipts will get one chance in a lottery of assorted prizes for every 10,000 yen in card use from February 1 through February 11.
Other premiums include a free gourmet map of Sapporo in Chinese with information on the festival and JCB merchants offering special discounts, and a 5% discount on JCB card purchases at cooperating retailers such as Marui-Imai. All these special benefits are available to any JCB cardmember, from Japan or abroad.
Taiwan, with one of the largest JCB cardmember bases outside of Japan, is a primary target of the Sapporo Snow Festival Campaign. Snow is rare in Taiwan, and Hokkaido's winter is especially attractive, with more than 20,000 visitors from Taiwan visiting the Sapporo Snow Festival each year. JCB is actively promoting new card membership and increased credit card sales in Taiwan with newspaper advertising, direct contact via travel agencies offering packages to Japan, and local card issuer channels. New cardmembers in Taiwan are also eligible to enter a lottery on the JCB International Taiwan web site for a chance to win one of 500 prizes of Shiroi koibito, Hokkaido's famous cookies.
About JCB Co., Ltd.
JCB is an international credit card brand and the largest card issuer/acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding overseas in 1981. Its merchant network includes 11.4 million merchants and spans 189 countries and territories. JCB cards are now issued in 18 countries and territories, with 49.6 million cardmembers. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with more than 320 leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and cardmember base. JCB's corporate philosophy of "Service from the heart", a commitment to responsive, high-quality service, continues to guide it as it creates the future together with its customers, merchants and partners. For further information, please visit the JCB International homepage at http://www.jcbinternational.com.