Find out what Japan's meetings industry has to offer03/04/2012 Japan
The populous East Asian island of Japan is a major force in the global economy. Its meetings industry is growing, and MICE professionals in Japan are working hard to nurture it. In particular, the Kyoto Convention Bureau (KCB) and events such as "Meet Japan" have become major factors in marketing Japan as a business tourism destination.
The city of Kyoto has pioneered the MICE industry in Japan, which is a relatively new venture. It was not until 1966 that Kyoto was named Japan's first International Convention City due to its outstanding conference facilities.
The Kyoto Convention Bureau is a public organization through which member companies and other organizations give their support to the city of Kyoto through involvement in convention events.
Located at the heart of Japan, Kyoto has much to offer. This includes 2000 temples and shrines and 17 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites, many of which would be willing to host your event outside. Although Kyoto is an ancient city, it has blended impressively with the modern wave of technology, architecture and scholarship that define the city.
As it is important for Japan to increase visibility for other cities as well, the Japan National Tourism Organization has taken an interesting initiative.
Meet Japan is an annual event with goals similar to those of the KCB – introduce the world to Japan as a MICE destination. The program offers hosted buyers an up close and personal experience of 4 destination cities. Organized by JNTO, Meet Japan 2012 (February 24 – March 2) actually began in Tokyo and ended in Sapporo; however, participants also chose 2 other cities with the potential to host their international events.
JNTO has a very proactive strategy of exposing potential clients to the immense variety of attractions in Japan, by maximizing the tourist resources that each venue has to offer. Over an entire week, participants enjoy and test the best of the Japanese meetings industry. It is no surprise that Meet Japan has an impressive conversion rate (number of event participants that subsequently hold their international event in Japan) of 60%.
Japan's MICE popularity is certainly on the rise. Thankfully, one of the few challenges faced by travelers to Japan is simply the linguistic barrier, which is seen as a small yet significant hurdle for travelers that prefer to use English as their business language. All meeting planner should be specific, methodical and patient to minimize any communication hurdles with suppliers.
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