Japan wants to say konnichiwa to more incentive groups

JAPAN Convention Bureau is sharpening its pitch to incentive buyers this year, and has several new initiatives to achieve its goal of making Japan the destination of choice for rewarding top achievers.

China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and the US have been identified by the bureau as key incentive markets.

According to Tatsunori Naoi, a representative from the Destination Management Section with the Japan Convention Bureau, more is being done to promote unique venues in Japan to international buyers and a new subvention programme out this month will encourage incentive planners to utilise such spaces.

A new incentive award is also being planned by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) to recognise incentive planners who have used Japanese venues in a creative way, encourage local incentive specialists to raise their standards, and introduce the concept of incentive travel to Japanese companies.

“The idea of incentive travel is still not widely accepted in the Japanese society, so we hope to educate local companies on the business benefits of such programmes,” Naoi explained.

More details on the award will be out after July.

The bureau is also determined to drive more business events traffic – not just incentives – deeper into Japan. The updated Japan Convention Cities Guidebook (available on  www.japanmeetings.org) introduces the meeting facilities of 52 cities and regions across the country has been launched ahead of IT&CM China 2016 to achieve this.

“We may have identified 12 MICE cities in Japan, determined by their event facilities, accommodation options, unique venues and special culture, but there are far more destinations that can support business events,” he said.

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