With the Hokuriku Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Fukui set to come online in spring 2024, promising better accessibility, Fukui Prefecture is intensifying its efforts to attract corporate meetings and incentive groups from Singapore and beyond.
In line with this, Fukui Prefectural Tourism Federation is highlighting its generous event subsidies.
“We offer one of the highest subsidies in the country, but many are unaware. This was only set up three years ago, which was when (we placed more focus) on attracting international MICE groups,” Daisuke Yamazaki, director, convention division, Fukui Prefectural Tourism Federation, told TTGmice at the recent JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) Incentive Travel Business Meetings in Singapore on August 31, 2023.
Currently, Fukui Prefecture is offering up to US$120,000 in subsidies for academic conferences, corporate meetings, or incentive events. The event must be held for two or more consecutive days, include overnight stays, and participants must be from at least two countries including Japan. More than 10 overseas participants are also required to stay at least a night in Fukui Prefecture.
When asked what would be a good group size for international conferences or incentive events, Yamazaki shared that it would be a maximum of 1,000 and 100 people respectively.
“We currently only host three to five international conferences a year, which means there is a lot of potential for growth. It helps that the new Shinkansen line will reduce travelling time from Tokyo,” Nonoka Sato, assistant manager convention division, Fukui Prefectural Tourism Federation, added.
The tourism office is planning to reach out to Asia-Pacific markets like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore – a key market in South-east Asia, as well as Europe for conferences.
Yamazaki opined that as Singaporeans are generally repeat visitors to Japan, they will be “looking for new destinations aside from the popular Kansai region and Tokyo”, and Fukui Prefecture is ready to welcome them.
Corporate activities in the destination include a Mega Zipline, knife-making or chopstick-making classes, and an overnight, meditative stay at Eiheiji Temple. This is in addition to sightseeing opportunities such as Echizen Ono Castle, Tojinbo Cliffs, and Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum.
Fukui Prefectural Tourism Federation acknowledges that the small prefecture has a limited marketing budget, so it is “working closely with other nearby major cities”, such as the Tokyo Convention Bureau, to encourage corporates to extend their stay from big cities to Fukui.