The fourth Tourism EXPO Japan 2017 will open on 21 September 2017, boosting B2B meetings. Yoshinori Ochi, JATA’s Director & Secretary General, said at a press conference that “It will be 1 of the 10 biggest events organized in Japan.”
Tourism EXPO Japan 2017 has received more registrations for both outbound and domestic travel meetings than in 2016. Compared to 2016, the number of buyers had increased by 71% (313) and the number of sellers by 56% (676) as of 7 September. The inbound land operator meeting, a new meeting opportunity, will gather 31 travel companies, mainly tour operators qualified as inbound land operators by Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA).
6,886 business appointments are planned, 150% more than during the last EXPO.
There will be business meeting opportunities during two days, one more than in 2016, and there will also be meeting opportunities at exhibition booths. An online matching service connected to a database of key persons enables participants to contact persons they want to meet before, during or even after the EXPO. This service can be used from 31 August to 22 December 2017.
To encourage local buyers in Japan to attend the event, the organizers financially support their lodging and transportation. As a result, the number of local buyer companies reached 65 (+41% compared to 2016) for outbound travel and 35 (+52%) for domestic travel.
Inbound and Tourism Business Exhibition, co-hosted by Nikkei, will gather various inbound travel business solution providers, such as Fuji Xerox, KDDIxCOLOPL, Softbank, and Nihon Unisys.
In addition to the business meetings, networking opportunities will be offered. On 21 September, Tourism EXPO Japan 2017 will offer two reception parties, JAPAN Venue for domestic and inbound travels gathering 1,600 participants and WORLD Venue for outbound travel gathering 1,100 participants. On 22 September, an EXPO networking event with exhibitors and main organizers will take place at a special stage.
The number of exhibitors is up 11%, reaching a record of 1,310 companies/organizations from 47 prefectures in Japan and 130 overseas countries/regions, and the number of exhibition booths also reaches a record of 2,130.
A feature of the exhibition is an increase in experience-based booths, including travel experiences using VR (virtual reality) and introductions of Instagram-genic spots, to promote new travel styles. H.I.S., for example, will offer a VR experience of “aurora tour” in a real container cooled at -30 degrees Celsius. KNT-CT Holdings will let attendees ride an athlete wheelchair used at the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro.
Also, the EXPO will have an exhibition focusing on local industries and traditional crafts in Japan, notably featuring state-of-the-art aircraft technologies provided by Aichi Aviation Museum and night tours of a factory complex and local manufacturing studios in Kitakyushu.