Japan targets association buyers

The Japan Convention Bureau is looking to combat the perception of the country as a high-cost destination with its annual hosted trip for association buyers. Japan Convention Bureau manager Chad Shiver said the trip was aimed at correcting negative impressions buyers might have about Japan. “Japan was hot for associations in the 1980s, and it was expensive then,” he said. “Costs are now in line with North America, and cheaper than European capitals such as Paris and London. However, buyers don’t believe it until they see the price in front of them and experience the level of service and hospitality.” The trip runs from 7-14 March and is open to members of European associations involved in the selection of conferences who are to make a decision on an event in the next two years. Events should be for at least 300 delegates, of whom half need to be international attendees. Shiver added that the Meet Japan programme had been a demonstrable success in attracting congresses, with 66% of Meet Japan attendees booking conference business. He said the UK was the most important market for Japan in Europe. The trip will start in Tokyo before taking delegates to a selection of 38 other Japanese convention cities to experience venues and meetings facilities. Potential delegates for the event can register online. The closing date for applications is 12 January, and successful applicants will be notified by the end of January.

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