Japan and Taiwan garner strong interest among MICE players as reopening looms

Howl’s Moving Castle replica at Studio Ghibli’s first theme park (Photo credit: Studio Ghibli)

Japan and Taiwan are experiencing strong interest among corporates and incentive travel planners, buoyed by recent reopening announcements.

Greatly encouraged by the positive response from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the Philippines prior, exhibitors from Nagoya and Fukuoka at IT&CM Asia 2022 were excited to showcase their new offerings to attendees ahead of its full reopening.

Howl’s Moving Castle replica at Studio Ghibli’s first theme park (Photo credit: Studio Ghibli)

Rie Furuhashi, assistant manager, convention marketing, Nayoga Convention & Visitors Bureau told TTGmice that one key attraction will be the much-anticipated opening of Studio Ghibli’s first theme park on November 1, 2022.

Located near Nagoya, a two-hour train ride from Tokyo, the world-first houses many whimsical attractions adapted from the studio’s most beloved anime hits.

Furuhashi is also optimistic about Nagoya’s future business events prospects as the upcoming super train, SCMaglev, will shorten the ride from Tokyo to Nagoya to 40 minutes. Touted as the fastest train ever built, it is currently under construction.

Sayaka Kashiwabara, assistant manager, Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau, highlighted the new entertainment attraction, Boss E.Zo Fukuoka, as an ideal itinerary addition for incentive groups.

The seven-storey landmark offers many teambonding opportunities with features such as a rooftop rail coaster and climbing facility, virtual gaming experience, and interactive forest art museum, teamLab Forest Fukuoka.
Meanwhile, the Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall B and Hakata International Exhibition Hall & Conference Center are new venue options.

For Taiwan, the destination has resumed visa-free entry for travellers from countries it currently shares diplomatic ties with, although it currently maintains its three-day quarantine requirement.

Cindy Chen, director of Taiwan Tourism Bureau based in Bangkok, said that currently, she is receiving keen interest mainly from Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Corporates are enthusiastic about Taiwan because compared to Europe or Japan, they can enjoy “more luxurious accommodation and higher quality services” with the same budgets.

Moving forward, Taiwan’s strategy is to help visitors rediscover the destination through more immersive and meaningful experiences instead.

Chen added: “We are repackaging existing tourism hotspots, for example, Alishan and Penghu, making sure visitors can dine, stay, explore, and shop with ease. We are also looking for unique narratives around these attractions to share so tourists can explore (these locations) in-depth.”

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