Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau sets up Okinawa booth at business expos in Spain and Taiwan

Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau sets up Okinawa booth at business expos in Spain and Taiwan

European tourism industry officials visited Okinawan booths at the EIBTM 2012 in Fira Gran Via, Barcelona.

December 6, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau participated in the Europe Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibitions (EIBTM) 2012, a type of business expo known as MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Convention, Exhibition) held from November 27 to 29 in Barcelona. Out of a desire to increase the number of inbound international visitors, they set up an independent Okinawan booth at the event for the first time. They also held the first Okinawa business seminars in Taiwan from November 26 to 29 in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.

The EIBTM is the largest business exhibition in Europe, and following on from last year this was the second time that the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau participated. In addition to the Bureau, DMC Okinawa and Mercure Hotel Okinawa Naha also operated booths in order to attract and hold seminars and meetings. They had a total of 82 business talks and there were several inquiries about holding international conferences on science and technology related topics and attracting wedding trips to Okinawa.

At the seminar in Taiwan, the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau explained the points of attraction about Okinawa and its related facilities. Four companies participated from Okinawa including JTB Okinawa and the Southern Beach Hotel & Resort, and 279 people from 180 Taiwanese companies, such as travel companies that deal with MICE, visited the event.

By the April to November period this year the Bureau had supported and held a total of 202 MICEs domestically and overseas. Among them, 86 were international conferences, and 116 were rewards and study tours.

A representative of the OCVB said that Europe is a new market and they would like to attract their people to the MICE in the future, and also stressed that the number of Chinese visitors to Japan has not increased because of the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands). Taiwan deals with many tours to Japan and has become a significant market for Okinawa in recent times. They hope that in future not only Taipei but also other regional cities will participate in the MICE.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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