Japan’s business events stakeholders have released a roadmap outlining how the country can ensure it does not lag in the global competition for business events.
The report was released by the Council of Stakeholders for the Resumption and Development of Safe MICE, whose members include the Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan Tourism Agency, Japan Congress Convention Bureau, Japan Convention Management Association, Japan Exhibition Association and Japan Hotel Association, as well as organisations in cities such as Tokyo, Yokohama and Sapporo.
It noted that in-person events have resumed in other countries and indicated that Japan needs to work on inviting business events back “without delay” while “paying attention to ensuring safety” in the face of “even greater competition” than pre-pandemic.
However, the report pointed out the difficulty in doing so as “the attitude and policy of the government and future prospects toward the resumption of international MICE are not clear”. The result is that overseas officials are not fully aware of Japan’s attitude toward attracting business events, it continued, adding that more communication is needed.
Concerning the digitalisation of the industry, stakeholders predicted that hybrid events will continue, even as the industry welcomes more face-to-face events, which may reduce the number of in-person attendees.
Host cities, therefore, need to do more to encourage overseas participants to visit Japan by distributing content that introduces the attractions of the area and venue, as well as the “significance of face-to-face conferences as networking opportunities”, the report noted.
The report recommended that cities should procure necessary equipment and know-how for hybrid capabilities, and deepen cooperation with universities to support researchers to bid for international conferences.
Stakeholders also called for greater collaboration among tourism partners, such as local CVBs, DMOs and DMCs, to promote business events and tourism in a more unified way, for the benefit of both industries.