Japan’s Olympian effort to attract business events

Improved transportation options, fresh attractions and new venues add to country’s appeal as MICE destination

Japan is anticipating an increase in international visitors during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which it hopes will translate into more interest in the country as an events destination.

BARCELONA - Fresh from the overwhelming success of hosting the Rugby World Cup, Japan is ready to leverage on next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo as a platform to attract more business events.

At IBTM World in Barcelona, the Japan Convention Bureau (JCB) said the country is ramping up new transportation options, sprucing up shopping areas and attractions, and opening up new venues in anticipation of an increase of international visitors during and after the Games on July 24-Aug 9, 2020.

By May 2020, a new giant retail mall called Ariake Garden City will be opened in Toyko with 170 shops, 750 hotel rooms and new event space. Toyko Disneyland is also undergoing an expansion project with several new attractions.

Steps to increase transport efficiency and access from the Narita and Haneda airports to the city have been put in place. For example, access to the Tokyo city centre from Narita Airport will take just 36 minutes on the Keisei Sky Liner, and a mere 11 minutes from Haneda airport on the Keikyu-line.

The Japanese authorities have also announced full barrier-free access at major train stations, bus terminals and airports ahead of the Games.

Facilities wise, the country will see the opening of at least seven new event venues in the couple of years ahead.

JCB executive director Etsuko Kawasaki said the increased and sustained exposure through the sporting events will lead to growing interest in Japan as an events destination.

"We should take this great opportunity to promote Japan as a business events destination, so that even more events and meetings will visit Japan after 2020," said Ms Kawasaki.

PACIFICO Yokohama North
As a new addition to PACIFICO Yokohama, the multi-functional Yokohama Minato Mirai International Convention Center will open in Spring 2020 with a 7,600sqm hall and various meeting spaces.

G Messe Gunma
The new convention centre will open in Spring 2020 with 10,000sqm of exhibition space and meeting rooms.

Aichi Sky Expo
The Aichi International Exhibition Center, or known as Aichi Sky Expo, opened in September 2019. The exhibition hall spans 60,000sqm and it has a direct access to Chubu Centrair International Airport.

Nara Convention Hall
The conference centre will open in Spring 2020 with lots of meeting spaces, including a 2,100sqm hall.

Himeji Casty21 Event Zone
This venue will open in 2021, boasting 4,000sqm of exhibition space and a 2,000-seat hall.

Dejima Messe Nagasaki
Scheduled to open in November 2021, it has a 4,000sqm exhibition hall and various types of meeting rooms. In the works is a Hilton hotel next to the facility.

Kumamoto-Jo Hall
The 1,630sqm exhibition hall will open by end 2019.


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