Okinawa prefecture held the Okinawa MICE Contents Trade Show 2015, which aims to project Japan's southernmost island as the MICE destination for firms in Asia. Okinawa intends to promote the tourism sector and facilitate tourism by pushing Okinawa MICE as a brand.
With business meeting sessions a major part of it, this event promoted MICE projects on a planning and proposal basis, and attract/facilitate MICE business in Okinawa. The event consisted of media and travel agents from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
The event was organised by the Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCVB) to promote Okinawa as a MICE destination to companies in Southeast and East Asia, and to highlight the island's tourist and convention infrastructure. The OCVB showcased close cooperation with the government of Okinawa prefecture, four international convention cities - Naha, Urasoe, Ginowan and Okinawa City - and various pertinent organisations within the prefecture to make incentive tours in Okinawa a special event.
Challenges and measures
The organisers had planned a tight schedule for the Okinawa MICE project 2015. On the day of arrival, a trekking and cultural programme was planned at the Valley of Gangala, a centuries-old ruins and home to an ancient tree. The next day was the opening of the trade show at the Okinawa Convention Centre. Participants in the trade show comprised major business hotels chains, local industries and tour operators. After lunch, the party visited the Moon Ocean hotel, the Hilton Chatan and the Laguna Garden Hotel. The evening was rounded off by a visit to Zakimi Castle, which is believed to have been built in the 15th century by the Ryukyu dynasty. The third day featured an inspection of the team-building exercise organised by a company in Nago city, followed by a visit to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. At one time, the aquarium was the biggest in Asia.
The Okinawa MICE project highlighted the positive aspects of the island as a destination for corporate team-building exercises, MICE projects and sponsored tours. The prefecture government has launched special programmes to attract companies to hold their incentive programmes on the island, with a number of good hotels offering various facilities and fantastic beach resorts.