The executive chairman of Group Ltd., Asia's biggest online travel agency, says he wants to see Japan and China reopen their borders to each other for leisure travel "later this year," projecting a strong recovery in tourism demand despite the coronavirus pandemic.

A recovery in domestic travel would come first once infections start to ease, and the "next question" would be when Japan and China can reach an agreement about reciprocal travel, Co-founder and Executive Chairman James Liang in a recent video interview.

"I hope this kind of agreement can be reached later this year," Liang said from the Chinese company's Shanghai office. "Once the border opens, there will be a spike of outbound travel. There would be pent-up demand."