DMO Osaka Umeda rises, uplifts area’s brand value as a MICE hub

Osaka Japan cityscape in the Umeda District.

Thirty-four different businesses including hotels, commercial facilities, and event halls have come together to form DMO Osaka Umeda, in a bid to attract more business events to Osaka’s Umeda area.

To kick things off, the DMO plans to leverage the upcoming Expo 2025, as well as massive development projects in the pipeline, such as Grand Green Osaka and an integrated resort, slated to come online in 2024 and 2030 respectively.

Osaka Japan cityscape in the Umeda District.

Currently in the second phase of its redevelopment project, Grand Green Osaka will boast luxury hotels, conference facilities, and a large park, apt for large corporate events, said Akihiko Kondo, secretary general of DMO Osaka Umeda.

When asked what were some of the DMO’s priorities, Kondo told TTGmice: “As there are no large-scale conference or exhibition facilities in Umeda, our initial strategy is to attract medium-sized international conferences, especially those related to the promotion of innovation and life sciences.”

DMO Osaka Umeda will also promote itself as a base for incentive tours to the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe region. Primary target markets in this case, stated Kondo, are countries in East Asia and South-east Asia, as they are geographically close.

“Many business travellers or tourists from these countries already visit Osaka, but they tend to pass through Umeda and head to Minami in the city centre, or to surrounding areas like Kyoto. (By forming the DMO, we) want to showcase the charms of the Umeda area to visitors,” said Kondo.

Looking beyond the Expo in the medium- to long-term, the organisation plans to attract large-scale business events of about 100,000 attendees, which will be able to utilise the various new public spaces brought about by Expo 2025 and Grand Green Osaka, he added.

“To build the Osaka brand further, the DMO – where its formation was supported by the City of Osaka and the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau – will also collaborate closely with relevant authorities,” Kondo noted.

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