Comprising of Convention Visitors Bureaus (CVBs), Destination Management Companies (DMCs), corporate companies and hospitality chains, the Japan cluster includes Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sapporo Convention Bureau, DMC Sapporo Co. Ltd, Pripress Center and Fujita Kanko Hotels and Resorts.
All are new to the event with the exception of Sapporo Convention Bureau that last exhibited 3 years ago. Factors such as motivation to further promote its MICE sector thanks to a falling yen currency and recovery from the aftermath from past catastrophies, have spurred optimism in the Japanese market with MICE players eager to reach out to both regional and international buyers.
Many are also taking advantage of the specified “Thai Year” initiative to promote various projects and events taking place between Japan and Thailand. One such thrust is the recent visa waiver regulation that allows Thai visitors to visit Japan without a visa, thereby boosting tourism opportunities between both countries. Capitalising on the visa waiver regulation, Thai Airways International is increasing accessibility from Japan, with recently launched special fares and new flights to Sapporo. The carrier is also looking at the possibility of serving Hiroshima and Sendai.
According to ICCA’s 2012 annual survey of global association meetings, Japan hosted 341 qualifying meetings, retaining its position as one of the world’s leading international association meeting destinations, and the leading destination in the Asia Pacific.
Not only did Japan score high in the country rankings, its cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Kobe were also in the top 100 cities for association meeting destinations. This resonates with a recent survey done with IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013 buyers, where 12% of buyers indicated they are looking at Japan as their choice destination. This represents a 3% increase as compared to the year before.
“Japan has been showing strong signs of revival having made its way into the 8th spot on ICCA’s global association meeting destinations 2012 ranking. We are confident that more local and international buyers will pick Japan as their choice destination.” said Ooi Peng Ee, General Manager of TTG Events, a business group of TTG Asia Media.
In addition, well-thought out MICE programmes will certainly give buyers reason to put their money on Japan. “Our ‘MICE in the Green’ concept supports small to big groups with an environmentally friendly agenda, amid fine Japanese hospitality. Customers can look forward to various MICE programmes in over 50 leisure facilities all across Japan – including our 3 gardens, Washington Hotels chain, hot springs facilities, hot spring theme park Yunessun and many more.” said Ishikawa of Fujita Kanko Hotels & Resorts’ offerings.
Be part of the Japan cluster, or join them as an exhibitor in the World’s largest showcase of Asia-Pacific MICE and Corporate Travel suppliers. Buyers can also register by 23 August, with limited hosting places still available. IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013 will take place from 1 to 3 October.