US and European meeting planners use industry seminar to describe Kyoto as No. 1
As part of a recent Fam trip to Japan, participants were asked to provide feedback to the destinations involved, allowing their hosts to learn from the knowledge and experience of several leading international event organisers and planners.
The seminar allowed over 100 local industry figures to discuss market demands in the new economic environment and receive hints on how Japan can respond to win new business. It was an initiative of the Japan Tourist Agency, a new national government body, with the task of increasing visitor numbers to Japan.
During the discussion, Kyoto alone was singled out for particular praise in its ability to serve diverse needs across incentive travel, corporate meetings association and congress markets.
Kyoto Convention Bureau’s international marketing coordinator, James Kent: “It seems the speakers were wowed by the majority of what is on offer in Japan – and they were in a strong position to comment having taken part in a four-day whistle stop research trip of the country. In particular the experiences that stood out were kimono wearing, calligraphy and flower arranging in Kyoto, as well as spa treatment in Yokohama and a Taiko drumming crash course in Tokyo.”
Comments during the panel discussion included:
“The opportunity to touch Japanese culture in everything that they do will really appeal to my clients.”
“I am in the process of looking for new destinations in response to the demands of my clients; they are asking for the Far East, I am pleased to suggest Japan.”
“Kyoto is the number one place in Japan to bring incentive travel groups for the authenticity of the venues, team building experiences, educational opportunities and parties.”
Kent says their responses were an honour: “I am delighted that these people found Japan to be so attractive and we in Kyoto are looking forward to the challenge of making sure their expectations are comfortably exceeded. I will be taking these valuable teachings back to my industry colleagues in Kyoto and discussing with them how the industry as a whole can serve business events better in this post Lehman shock economy.”