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Japan's MICE agents optimistic about growth in luxe events
Julian Ryall, Tokyo, March 6, 2017
 
The growth in luxury travel into Japan is rubbing off on the business events sector as consumers increasingly seek the unusual and the unique.
 
Naomi Mano, founder and CEO of Luxurique, said demand for her company's services is so strong that she has been forced to turn down clients and will soon be opening a new office in Kyoto to meet demand.
 

Kyoto's Kiyomizu-dera Temple
 
"We focus exclusively on foreign, high-end corporates, executives and celebrity clients who are well known enough to have their own Wikipedia page," Mano told TTGmice.
 
"Japan is increasingly appealing as a destination because it is unique and has a good balance of culture, cuisine, history, art and everything else that appeals to these sort of customers," she said.
 
Corporate visitors can simultaneously draw inspiration from many of Japan's tried and trusted approaches to doing business, while spouses can enjoy the cultural, dining and shopping opportunities, Mano added.
 
"We are expanding and I believe that higher end business events in Japan are still largely untapped. The government has said that it wants to double the total number of inbound visitors to Japan to 40 million by 2040 and I believe the business sector can grow at a comparable rate within that," she said.
 
Representatives of Cox and Kings Japan were equally upbeat about the outlook for Japan's high-end business events market in the year ahead, with increasing enquiries from the US and Australia.
 
"Japan has a high profile because Tokyo will host the Olympic Games in 2020 and the entire travel sector is growing partly in anticipation of that," said Eri Sato, interviewed on the sidelines of the recently-concluded International Luxury Travel Market event in Tokyo.
 
"A lot of people have already visited Tokyo and Kyoto but we see great potential from other cities around the country," she said. "Some may not have the accommodation capacity or infrastructure currently, but the government is keen to make sure those facilities are developed and that will be a big benefit for us."
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