GLOOM surrounding Covid and the halting of business events travel during 2020 did not deter Japan Convention Bureau recognising the organisers behind some memorable incentive trips from the previous year.
The Japan Best Incentive Travel Awards received a total of 83 applications from 16 countries and regions when entries were open from July 15 to September 16, 2020.
Three winners and a special mention were selected with the VME Retail Safari, organised by Germany’s Teamtravel International, receiving Best Incentive Travel award for a 10-day tour taking in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Kyoto and Okinawa for 18 top-performing sales team sales people from a furniture company.
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Experiences included sushi making, training insights into Japanese retail culture and tours to enjoy the nightlife of Tokyo and Okinawa.
Singapore’s H.I.S International Travel received Best Creative Planning award for an incentive trip to Okinawa to reward 121 staff from their offices in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Participants were immersed in Okinawan culture through performances and team building activities such as Shisa and Eisa drum performances, dragon boat trips and Japanese radio calisthenics.
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JTB Germany received Best Community Contribution, while the Special Recognition award went to Fortis Events, New Zealand, for its Hynds VIP Rugby World Cup 2019 Tour.
JTB Germany’s incentive trip rewarded 50 top performers at a Japanese-brand tool manufacturer in Hungary with an eight-day tour that combined culture and cuisine experiences with technical visits to the company’s main factory.
Fortis Events’ VIP tour took 86 people on a 13-day trip coinciding with the Rugby World Cup Japan. Experiences included a welcome dinner on a yakatabune cruise of Tokyo Bay, specially designed gifts.
A spokesman for Japan Convention Bureau, a division of Japan National Tourism Organisation, said most participants on the Hynds incentive tour exprienced Japan for the first time and many hoped to return with their families in future.
Main image: Shurijo Castle in Okinawa