Targeted roadshow featuring Japan MICE growth cities
Singapore.– Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) met 40 specially selected Association Buyers and PCOs handling association meetings at the recent destination roadshow in Singapore on the 27th of October 2016, co-organised by IT&CM Events.
Convention Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) from 7 major cities – Chiba, Hiroshima, Kitakyushu, Matsue, Okayama, Okinawa, Sapporo – were flown in from Japan by JNTO for an exclusive presentation session with buyers from Singapore.
The roadshow also offered prospective buyers an insight into Japan’s latest infrastructure, facilities and capabilities, government and municipal support, as well as the incentives available to encourage organisers to explore regions outside of the usual metropolitan cities to host their next association meetings.
Aiming to increase the number of international association meetings and conferences from overseas to Japan, Mr Masatoshi Miyake, Executive Director, JNTO, reinforced, “Japan’s position is a unique one. We are the centre of research and industry, which enables technical visits and networking opportunities to be easily organised. Our country showcases a surprising variety of tradition, hospitality, and innovation as well as geographic diversity – an excellent assortment of culture, activities, and destinations to satisfy an event’s business, education, and social networking objectives.”
In April, JNTO’s Singapore office officially expanded its support services to meetings and incentive planners in Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, and India.
Coupled with previous collaborative successes and the Asia-Pacific’s increasing potential for MICE in hosting major conferences, JNTO’s partnership with IT&CM Events for the 3rd year running was an unequivocal one, reiterating the breadth and depth of IT&CM Events’ capabilities of going beyond mere trade shows and appointments to add value by providing alternative platforms for clients to create business opportunities.
Susan Maria Ong, MICE Director – Asia-Pacific, JNTO Singapore, said, “Our roadshows with IT&CM Events have been the most ideal in allowing our Japanese CVB’s stakeholders to network and leverage on their contacts with local MICE buyers, PCOs, and association representatives. These settings also serve as an educational platform for both sides to gather vital information on the venues and support programmes offered by the destinations as well as the prerequisites and conditions they may need to cater to these buyers.”
Association Buyer Ewell Tan, Project Manager, IEEE Asia-Pacific Limited conveyed, “Being able to approach different convention bureaus at the roadshow was very effective as compared to a presentation by a single city or destination. A number of cities in Japan stood out for me because of the extent of support available and attentiveness to an association’s needs. The face-to-face interaction in smaller groups also allowed us to share our thoughts easily while being given the assistance we needed upfront.”
Kitakyushu’s first participation at the roadshow proved productive, expressed Mr Nobuhiro Abe, Convention Promotion Manager, Kitakyushu Convention Bureau, “We were selected by JNTO as a MICE Growth City, hence our mission to increase the number of international conferences to Kitakyushu. We were able to meet prospective association buyers and organisers all in one location, which was very beneficial in promoting our city out of Japan.”
Returning for the 2nd year, Miyako Kawakami, Manager, Sapporo Convention Bureau, added, “Sapporo’s reputation as an Incentive Travel destination speaks for itself. However, the brand recognition and awareness of Sapporo as the top choice destination for Association and Corporate meetings still needs to be developed within the Asia-Pacific. Our participation last year was great for building the groundwork among industry players. This year, we wanted to strengthen that image and make it our key objective.”
The half-day event included an enriching talk on Meetings Planning insights by Ms Janet Tan-Collis, President of Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS), a networking coffee break, and a lucky draw giveaway with gifts generously sponsored by each Convention Visitor Bureau from the various cities in Japan.
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