Gems of the regions

Japan is laying out a plethora of delegate experiences to spice up future business events. By Kathryn Wortley.

Japan is well on its way to welcoming back business events in 2022, according to the Japan Convention Bureau (JCB), which is building on successful hybrid and face-to-face events, and raising awareness of new programmes among event organisers.

A mythical beast stands tall on an Okinawan beach; 
snowshoeing in Hokkaido

“We are well prepared to host business events in the post-pandemic period,” said Etsuko Kawasaki, executive director of the JCB, pointing to an uptick in enquiries about incentive travel and several successful bids for international conferences scheduled for the next four years.

Kawasaki and her team have launched a range of programmes designed to make the most of their respective host regions, such as natural and cultural heritage, and demand in the post-pandemic period for “well-being, mindfulness and outdoor activities.” The new initiative will allow participants to contribute towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in areas such as protecting traditional cultures and the natural environment. Options include sea and snow activities, such as karate practice on the beach in Okinawa and snowshoeing in Hokkaido.

The JCB is also preparing virtual tour videos of 10 cities, designed specifically for international conference organisers. Kawasaki said the videos, which are scheduled for completion by March 2022, will “introduce the potential of each city as a host and show their allure by highlighting their strengths and individuality.”

Plans are also underway to hold online seminars and trade marts on inbound incentive travel. These activities will target Asian source markets, “where recovery seems to be relatively quick and there is strong demand for incentive travel to Japan,” she added.

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