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Japan targets long-term growth with new events campaign

New Ideas Start Here is a three-year promotional push to consolidate country's leading status

Pictured: Japan has ambitious plans to see its MICE offering blossom

Japan has launched a campaign to consolidate its position as Asia’s leading destination for international meetings – focusing on the wide range of destinations it offers.

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has launched a three-year campaign – New Ideas Start Here - to showcase the country and its cities to the international market.

The promotional push will highlight Japan’s rich culture and advanced technology, and the opportunities for delegates to meet academic, business and industry leaders.

The campaign started in February with a Fam Trip for associations, which showcased the country’s varied convention options, including the port city of Takamatsu on Shikoku Island.

Iain Bitran, executive director of the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) is currently planning an event to be held, in Fukuoka, in December 2018. 

He said: “Japan is totally set up for meetings and events and, in my opinion, has the best infrastructure around. The convention bureaux are extremely professional and understand the needs of meeting planners. They will endeavour to understand your event and connect you with all the right people locally. This specialist assistance is vital as our association always needs to connect with the local innovation community."

Japan is undergoing a massive convention centre building programme, with nine new venues expected to open by 2021, while the Kyoto International Conference Centre will double in size.

Meanwhile it is gearing up to host two major sporting events – the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in Tokyo, the following year - which are attracting attention from the meetings industry.

“We should take this great opportunity to promote Japan as a business events destination, so that even more events and meetings will visit Japan after 2020”, says Etsuko Kawasaki, Executive Director of Japan Convention Bureau.

According to the latest statistics from industry association ICCA, Japan was the leading country in Asia for international association meetings, having hosted 414 in 2017, 38 more than China.

JNTO recently launched a newly re-designed website and is working with industry associations including MPI and PCMA to reach prominent professionals in the industry.

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