The Japanese city of Hiroshima has launched a new campaign to bring awareness to a set of new unique event venues, determined to convince planners to be a little more adventurous in their choice of a host city.
‚ÄúHiroshima is as well known as Tokyo and Osaka around the world, but only because it was the first city to be the target of an atomic bomb,‚ÄĚ said Takayuki Kitayoshi, executive director of the Hiroshima Convention and Visitors Bureau.
‚ÄúWe want people to know us as more than just a city of peace, so we have begun a campaign to promote a number of unique venues that we believe will appeal to people who come to Hiroshima from abroad for business events,‚ÄĚ he said.
The new venues include the mountainside Irori Sanzoku restaurant and gardens, the Hiroshima Museum of Art, the new Hiroshima Orizuru Tower and the impressive Daisyoin Temple.
‚ÄúWe are also creating a better environment in terms of our conference centre and other meeting facilities, as well as improving the ‚Äėsoft‚Äô side through the ‚Äėomotenashi‚Äô (hospitality) welcome of the people of Hiroshima,‚ÄĚ Kitayoshi told TTGmice.
The bureau is reaching out to potential groups by attending major tradeshows including those in Frankfurt and Las Vegas, enhancing its web presence, and collaborating with the Japan National Tourism Organization.
The city hosted 87 international business events in 2017, and has set a target of 100 in the year 2020, according to Yukiharu Sakaya, director of the city government‚Äôs Tourism Policy Department.
‚ÄúWe are a regional city that is famous for our past but we want to show off our present to the world, and we are reaching out to organisations all around the world to encourage them to come to Hiroshima,‚ÄĚ said Sakaya.
Given the city‚Äôs size and accommodation options ‚Äď Hiroshima has 15,000 hotel rooms ‚Äď it is probably better suited to smaller events, although authorities here are also looking into piggy-backing cultural events and receptions on larger conferences and exhibitions in other parts of Japan.