JTB Hawaii in
One division will beBy Russ Lynch
closed and 59 workers will
JTB Hawaii Inc. said it is cutting one division in a corporate restructuring that will affect 59 employees.
The workers will be offered other jobs within the Japanese travel company's local operations, according to company spokesman David McNeil.
The restructuring will take effect April 1.
JTB brings 400,000 to 500,000 Japanese tourists to Hawaii each year. Even though tourism from Japan has been down sharply in recent months, JTB's business is expected to be up 2 percent in the fiscal year ending March 31, McNeil said.
He said the corporate restructuring is mostly a technical one as the corporation turns several of its subsidiaries into limited liability companies. It is a more flexible corporate structure for JTB Hawaii Inc., which has 341 employees, he said. The subsidiaries Travel Plaza Inc., Travel Plaza Transportation Inc., JTL Liquors Inc. and JTL Enterprises Inc. will all get "LLC" after their names instead of "Inc."
McNeil did not identify the division that would be closed.
Parent company Japan Travel Bureau is the biggest travel agency in Japan.
Figures from the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau show that eastbound travel, dominated by Japanese visitors, was down 10.8 percent last year. Nevertheless, Japan produced about 2 million of Hawaii's 6.7 million tourists in 1998.