JNTO Closing Fiscal Year, A New Sun Rising for Meetings and Events

3rd May, 2018

A year ago, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)’s office in Paris added to its team its first member exclusively dedicated to the Meetings & Events industry, Aurélien Bandini. “We created this position in Paris office to make our support more targeted for the many associations and companies intending to hold events in Japan”, states Etsuko Kawasaki, Executive Director of the Japan Convention Bureau, the section of JNTO in charge of Meetings & Events. “We could thus reinforce the action of our team spread in Tokyo, London, New-York, Seoul and Singapore.”

As April marks the start of the new fiscal year for Japanese organisations, this is the occasion to look back on the year's work and JNTO’s action in the French, Belgian, Luxembourgian and Monegasque markets, and to give its direction for the coming months.

During this last year, an essential field of work for the Japan Convention Bureau was the renewing of its communication strategy.

In September 2017, the office in Paris published, with a media partner, its first pamphlet introducing Meetings & Events in Japan, in French (download here). On the international level, the Japan Convention Bureau launched in February 2018 its new branding campaign, with new design elements, while consistently kept the tagline “New Ideas Start Here”. “Through this motto, we want to promote Japan as a destination blending in a unique way tradition and modernity, where the people who came for events can be in contact with a rich and different – in sum, inspiring – destination”, explains Ms. Kawasaki.

To have a glimpse of the experience that Japan offers, take a look at our testimonial videos on our website, which was renovated within the frame of the new campaign: www.japanmeetings.org

Another major part of JNTO’s activities was also to host a series of international events in Japan for meeting professionals from around the world.

In summer 2017, JNTO received 69 applications world-wide for its JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards, which reward the best incentive travel programs in Japan following several categories. The three winners attended the Award Ceremony on September 20th, 2017, where they presented their incentive itineraries. In the following days they participated in a familiarization trip in Tokyo and its vicinities, in which they experienced many hands-on cultural-immersion activities. The awarded companies benefit from media coverage and the opportunity to include the “JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2017” logo in their promotional materials (more information on www.incentive-awards-jnto.com).

From September 20th to 27th, 2017, the “Visit Japan Travel and MICE Mart” (VJTM) welcomed 410 professionals, including about 30 specialists in meetings and incentive travels. After the welcome reception and a two-day mart with local suppliers, guests participated in one of the various fam trips on offer, three of which were exclusively arranged for meetings industry professionals (more information on www.vjtm.jp).

From February 25th to March 3rd 2018, 16 executives from international associations and leading PCOs took part in the program “Meet Japan”, an opportunity to discover Japanese destinations for medium-sized events congresses(200-1000 delegates), and to connect with convention bureaus and local suppliers (more information here).

JNTO was also present at the internationally recognized tradeshows such as IMEX, IMEX America, and IBTM World and AIME, organizing the Japan Pavilion. The different exhibitors – which included convention bureaus, DMCs and hotel chains, among others – met face-to face with hundreds of professionals and answered their queries.

At local level, JNTO’s office in Paris fulfilled its role of promotion and liaison within Japan’s Meetings & Events industry.

While increasing the visibility of the destination through the new promotional campaign, tailored to the local professionals and media (in pamphlet, newsletters, press releases, etc.), JNTO Paris also focused on meeting face-to-face with professionals interested in the destination, as well as with those who already have intentions of holding their events in Japan.

“Through my direct interaction in tradeshows and other meetings, I was able to see first-hand the increasing demand for Japan in the market”, notes Aurélien Bandini. “Companies and associations alike are in search of exotic and safe destinations, whose local richness – cultural, economic, academic – can bring a real added value to their project. Japan meets all these criteria.”

JNTO organized two evening sessions for professionals wishing to learn more about meetings & events in Japan (in Paris in February and Brussels in March 2018) with its local partners JTB Global Business France and All Nippon Airways Benelux. In addition to the presentations given by specialists in the region, guests could enjoy first-hand experiencing of Japanese culture (have a glimpse of the events in Paris, and in Brussels).

Following the seminar in Brussels, our JNTO specialist traveled through Belgium to visit several local associations and companies.

JNTO had the pleasure to support All Nippon Airways Benelux and its partners to organize a MICE familiarization trips for Belgian professionals, the past February.

In the new fiscal year, JNTO will pursue its efforts in the international meetings & events industry, and the Paris office will have a key role in reinforcing the established position in the local market.

While providing the latest news on what Japan offers as a destination, as part of the communication campaign, JNTO Paris will keep ensuring connecting participants with the international programs held in Japan (JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards, VJTM and Meet Japan).

A priority for the office in Paris will be to increase the contact with professionals of the meetings industry in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Monaco. To meet this goal, seminars will be arranged in Paris and Brussels once again, and in addition a third seminar will take place in Southern France (city to be decided). JNTO is open to book appointments for meeting directly with interested companies and associations in the area.

“We are glad that our office, open for about thirty years, faces such a success in its work towards the MICE segment! We hope to durably confirm the position of Japan as a leading destination for events in Asia”, concludes Ms. Rieko Nakayama, General Director of JNTO‘s office in Paris.

Aurélien Bandini – aurelien_bandini@jnto.go.jp

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