To promote the city of Kanazawa as an emerging destination for incentive travel, leading Tokyo-based MICE provider, Event Services, will be launching a new division, DMC Kanazawa, in April or May this year.
President of both companies, Lucky Morimoto, said: “Kanazawa has not been spoiled and that is one reason why I believe it will be a popular destination for incentive travel.”
Kanazawa train station
The city has a reputation for being as attractive as Kyoto, although on a smaller scale, and without the hordes of visitors.
Moreover, Morimoto believes that the city will prove attractive to MICE buyers because of its proximity to both Osaka and Tokyo, thanks to the opening of a new shinkansen stretch in March 2015.
“Corporate buyers overseas who come to Japan for incentive travel generally start by sending groups to Tokyo and then spread out to Osaka, Kyoto and smaller cities such as Sapporo,” Morimoto told TTGmice e-weekly.
“But mature clients have already been to these places and are looking for attractive new destinations. Kanazawa is ideal because the new shinkansen line means it is only two hours from Tokyo and 90 minutes from Osaka,” he added.
Morimoto said DMC Kanazawa will target incentive groups of between 50 and 300 people, primarily at the higher end of the market, and he has identified a number of local venues such as Kanazawa Castle as potential locations for events.
Also, the Ishikawa Prefectural Government is also working with the Tokyo Convention and Visitors' Bureau to attract more overseas tourists to the region. The organisations have set an annual target of 400,000 foreign tourists.