ITB Asia is partnering with Japan National Tourism Organisation in a move to promote Japan as a leading business and events destination.
“Tourism is a vital part of Japan’s growth strategy,” says Susan Ong, deputy director of Japan National Tourism Organisation office in Singapore.
“Our partnership with ITB Asia to attract international MICE travellers is one of the many efforts that further open our doors in achieving the government’s growth trajectory target of 40 million by 2020," says Ong.
In 2015, Japan hosted 355 international meetings, according to statistics from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The country ranked top in Asia, and seventh in the world. Japan will play host to the 2019 World Rugby Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Our myriad destinations – from pristine sun-kissed beaches at Okinawa to the snowcapped mountains of Hokkaido, makes us an exceptional and attractive MICE destination to international businesses,” Ong adds
Katrina Leung, executive director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organisers of ITB Asia, says: “Japan is a prime MICE destination in the region. It’s a perfect combination of first-class infrastructure, range of unique destinations, excellent hospitality, world-class food, heightened safety and cleanliness which draws international appeal.
“ITB Asia will be the go-to platform that connects visitors and buyers, in an effort to further drive Japan forward.”
Organisers have also annonced that Google and Priceline Group are among the show's keynote speakers.
For the first time this year, the keynote sessions will span all three days of the show, covering topics such as the impact of mobile and digital disruption in the travel industry.
“We have seen strong attendance and received great feedback for our keynote sessions over the last few years," says Leung. "With this in mind, we have extended this year’s programme to cover all three days of the show, providing a platform for like-minded players to learn, network and discuss trends which are key in shaping the future of the travel industry."
The show saw 760 exhibitors from 73 countries in 2015, with more than 880 buyers and 10,000-plus attendees.
ITB Asia 2016 will take place October 19-21 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.