JNTO MICE

Newsletter

July 2009   

HOT TOPICS

Tanabata Festival, Sendai
©Yasufumi Nishi / ©JNTO

Tokyo 2016 Olympic Bid Update

Olympic inspection a huge success!

Japan Remains #1 in Asia

#8 worldwide in MICE rankings

New Yokohama Subsidy Plan

Offers a competitive package for meeting & incentive travel

New Narita Rail Service Due to Open

Japan Railways and Keisei Railways compete for business

"Meet Japan 2009" Feedback

Comments from participants

 
Tokyo 2016 Olympic Bid Update
 

©JNTO


©JNTO


Olympic inspection a huge success!

From April 14-20, the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Evaluation Commission visited Tokyo as part of the city's bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The evaluation committee was impressed by the innovative, sustainable nature of the bid concept. It incorporates 97% of competition venues within an 8 km radius of central Tokyo - which would make Tokyo 2016 the most compact Olympic Games ever - as well as plans for environmentally-friendly "Carbon-Minus Games." Tokyo 2016 revealed plans to introduce a zero CO2 emission, electrical "hybrid" bus, along with other cutting-edge initiatives to utilize solar and wind power, in addition to other forms of renewable energy. Japan has the world's most sophisticated environmental technology, and hosting the Games in its vibrant capital city would be an excellent opportunity to convey to the world Japan's commitment to environmental sustainability. A key initiative contributing to the "Carbon-Minus Games" is the "10-Year Project for Green Tokyo." This aims to enhance the beauty of Tokyo as a dynamic metropolis by decorating it with water and greenery. The Project consists of a variety of elements, such as the Sea Forest project, which compromises the planting of forest on an 88 hectare area of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. The host city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be announced at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen, which will take place on October 2, 2009.

 
Japan Remains #1 in Asia
 
With the support of JNTO, the holding of the following large-scale conferences in Japan were decided in 2008/2009:

2010 / Osaka
Junior Chamber International World Congress (JCI)
15,000 participants
2012 / Osaka
Annual SWIFT International Banking Operations Seminar (SIBOS)
6,000 participants
2012 / Yokohama
World Wound Healing Congress
6,000 participants
2014 / Yokohama
World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress
5,000 participants
2014 / Tokyo
International Bar Association Annual Conference (IBA)
4,000 participants
2015 / Yamaguchi
World Scout Jamboree
30,000 participants

#8 worldwide in MICE rankings

According to ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association) statistics, Japan is ranked 8th in the world with 247 meetings* and retains its position as the top destination in Asia for the number of meetings held in 2008.

Japan continues to attract international meetings as ideal place for academic exchange and networking, and in 2008 the Junior Chamber International World Congress (JCI), the Annual SWIFT International Banking Operations Seminar (SIBOS), the International Bar Association Annual Conference (IBA) and several other major international conferences were decided to be held in Japan. As for intergovernmental conferences, the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting will be held in the fall of 2010 in Yokohama, and the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) will be in Nagoya in October of 2010.
For more details: ICCA

Ryouan-ji Rock Garden
©Kyoto Convention Bureau / ©JNTO

Japan's MICE industry hasn't been the only one to make prestigious rankings lately. Tokyo was ranked the #1 best food city by Food & Wine magazine. Likewise, the Michelin Guide named Tokyo as the #1 gourmet dining city in the world, with more star-ranked establishments than anywhere else, and Tokyo is also the top hotel destination worldwide according to Hotels.com. Kyoto, too, has been making a name for itself having been ranked the #1 city in Asia by TripAdvisor.com and the #2 city worldwide by Wanderlust magazine (Japan was named the #1 country globally in the same issue). And finally, Smithsonian magazine honored the Ryouan-ji rock garden in Kyoto by including it on its list of 28 places you must see before you die. All these rankings and more can be found on JNTO's website at: http://www.japantravelinfo.com/survey/japan_rankings.php

*Definition of international meetings identified by ICCA: Meetings which take place on a regular basis, which rotate among a minimum of three countries, and which have 50 or more participants each time.

 
New Yokohama Subsidy Plan
 

Offers a competitive package for meeting & incentive travel


Yokohama Bay
©Yasufumi Nishi / ©JNTO

Many cities all over Japan have various forms of support systems for international conferences and incentive tours which eagerly await foreign visitors. In the international convention city of Yokohama, a new conference subsidization scheme was introduced this April in order to implement a high level of hospitality to the satisfaction of both organizers and participants alike.

With a maximum subsidy amount of 10 million yen, this new system guarantees subsidies for conferences which are in the bidding process and where the candidate city is Yokohama. The new subsidy system is applicable to international conferences that meet the following four conditions:

1) A minimum of 2,000 participants
2) A minimum of 800 foreign participants
3) A minimum number of 5 nationalities
4) A minimum duration of 3 days

 

Yokohama has also introduced a new subsidization scheme of up to 2 million yen for incentive tours with over 1,000 participants. Recently, Yokohama has hosted incentive tours from Prudential of Korea (2,000 participants) in March of 2008 and AIA Thailand (2,000 participants) in September of 2008, but the new system is sure to increase the attractiveness of the city as an incentive tour destination even further. Tokyo, too, has introduced a convention subsidization scheme of up to 10 million yen starting this year, and Kitakyushu has increased its maximum amount to 10 million yen as well. Meanwhile, the cities of Niigata, Kanazawa, Kobe, Matsue and Takamatsu combine subsidies with every other kind of convention support you need.

 
New Narita Rail Service Due to Open
 

Japan Railways and Keisei Railways compete for business

Narita Express N'EX Line
©JNTO

With Narita Airport, formally known as New Tokyo International Airport, undergoing an expansion of its facilities in spring of 2010, JR East and Keisei Railways are introducing new features to stay competitive and attract business, including a new high-speed rail service which is expected to make the trip from Narita to downtown Tokyo in just a little over a half an hour.

JR East will be introducing new quiet-running hybrid railcars on its Narita Express line (N'EX). The E259 series, as it is being called, is designed to reduce fuel usage by up to 10% and lower carbon emissions by 60%, while also featuring improved interior comfort features, such as an observation car lounge, reclining seats, increased luggage storage, reduced interior noise and electric outlets at each seat. For added comfort, you can ride in its first-class green cars for an additional fee, which has roomier, leather-covered seats. JR East expects them to be running around October 2010.

Keisei Railways meanwhile is working to improve its Skyliner service to Narita by making it faster. The Skyliner, as well as JR East's N'EX service, currently takes about 51 minutes from downtown Tokyo to Narita, traveling at 130 km/h. The new Skyliner, due to be unveiled in 2010, is expected to travel up to 160 km/h and take as little as 36 minutes. Keisei is also replacing the current Skyliner model with the new, electric AE model next year, making it sleeker and adding comforts to the interior such as better seating, LCD information displays, better security systems, signs displayed in 4 languages and greater wheelchair accessibility. The AE model was designed by Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, who used the theme "wind" to come up with his concept.

Both companies are hoping that their improvements will draw more customers and keep them ahead of the competition, as well as continue to make the trip from Narita Airport to central Tokyo more convenient and more comfortable.

 
"Meet Japan 2009" Feedback
 

Comments from participants

JNTO's Hosted Buyers Program "Meet Japan 2009" was held from the end of February to the beginning of March and was attended by nine participants who plan to hold international conferences in Japan later this year or in the near future.

"Meet Japan" is an annual program where organizers who are considering holding an international conference in Japan can actually visit Japan's convention cities. Through site inspections and business sessions with convention and visitors' bureaus, the organizers are able to get acquainted with the unique charms and support packages at each location. Below are two of the participants' comments about their experience during Meet Japan 2009. For a summary of the program, see the Meet Japan 2009 web page at http://www.jnto.go.jp/MI/eng/MJ/MJ_09.html

Name: Ms. Joy Carey
Organization: Soil Association, Local Food and Market Development Food and Farming Department
Conference: International symposium of URGENCI (Urban Rural Generate New Commitment)
Host City: Kobe (Winter 2010)
Comments: "Very informative and thorough overall. A good balance between inspecting venues, accommodation and experiencing the culture. High quality facilities and plenty of experience at the venues in hosting events. As for Kobe, it was not just the warm support from the administration, but their promotion of organic farming and the strong network between organic farms and the movement were also important points that we took into consideration when we decided to hold the conference in Kobe."

Name: Dr. Ted Chen
Organization: The Asia Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco
Host City: Chiba (2013)
Comments: "Chiba convention bureau did an excellent job in providing rich information about the city, the culture, the meeting place, and the hotels, and showed its experience in hosting similar meetings in the past to impress me to select the city for the APACT 2013. The presence of a local health coalition of doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists was the type of alliance I was looking for with enthusiasm. This gives me the impression that Chiba has an enthusiastic health coalition ready to host the international health alliance to make APACT 2013 successful."

Program and application information for "Meet Japan 2010" will soon be available on the JNTO web page. If you are considering holding a conference in Japan in the near future, why not take this great opportunity to see for yourself what facilities, hotels and cultural attractions are available and experience the appeal of Japan first-hand?

Ms. Joy Carey
©JNTO
Meet Japan 2009
©JNTO
Dr. Ted Chen
©JNTO
 
 

For more Japan travel information, visit http://www.japantravelinfo.com


* Disclaimer:
The JNTO Newsletter is published as a complimentary service to our valued partners in the travel and convention sectors. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the official view of JNTO. While every sincere effort is made to ensure accuracy, readers should confirm prices and schedule information directly with the relevant organizer. All information is subject to change without notice. Neither JNTO nor any holder of copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.


© Japan National Tourism Organization

 

Japan Convention Bureau
Japan National Tourism Organization
Tel: 212-757-5641 ext. 21
Fax: 212-307-6754
Email: mmotegi@jntonyc.org