New travel event Blossoms in Japan
The first ever Blossom Japan travel event kicked-off yesterday with 400 local and international guests convening in Tokyo. The event marks the first-ever appointments-based international event for Japan’s inbound and outbound luxury travel market.
International exhibitors including Amanresorts, Silversea Cruises, dmAfrica, Park Hyatt, Sun International, and Japanese exhibitors such as Hotel Tsuruga Group, The Terrace Hotels and Wanosato will hold some 6,400 appointments over the three-day event with top Japanese and international luxury travel buyers.
“We have 90 meetings with Japanese buyers lined up, including many companies that we have not dealt with before - so I believe this should be a very worthwhile event for us,” said Steve Odell, VP Asia Pacific of Silversea Cruises.
The event was officially opened on Wednesday by special guest of honour, Hiroshi Sato, Vice Governor of Tokyo, with a ribbon cutting followed by a traditional sake ceremony.
Jay Martens, Event Director of the first Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM), and now CEO of Lucioles, the company which conceived and arranged Blossom said; “We are truly excited that after two years of planning, research and sheer tenacity we have delivered this event, which by all accounts in terms of the quality of buyers and exhibitors and the very enthusiastic response we have received from the industry, fills a much needed gap in the market.”
Commenting on the launch of the show, Professor Yoshihara Tsuboi, Chairman of the Blossom Japan Welcome Committee, said; “We would like to send a very clear message that Japan truly welcomes international travellers, even if we have not always known fully how best to welcome them.
“Blossom Japan is a welcome step in bridging the gap between the Japanese and international travel industries and I believe marks a new era for us.”
Japan remains an extremely important outbound market for luxury travel, and has the second highest concentration of high net worth individuals [HNWI] in the world after the US, according to research findings presented by guest speaker Helge Fluch of Access Japan, a company which advises international companies on marketing strategies to HNWI in Japan.
“Yet because of the complex nature of Japanese society, Japan remains one of the hardest markets in the world to penetrate,” he added.
Similarly, despite having a tremendously unique and diverse offering, Japan as a country does not receive as many international visitors as it could because of the difficulty in gaining access.
“In the past, Japan has not really gone out of its way to promote the country to international travelers because we have been able to thrive from our own domestic market, but I believe that’s now changing and Japan is starting to adapt and wants to be more open to international luxury travelers,” said Yoshihara Hoshino, President of Hoshino Resorts.
The event is supported by several of Tokyo’s leading hotels including Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, The Peninsula Tokyo, The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, The Imperial Hotel Tokyo, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, ANA Inter-Continental Hotel, Park Hyatt Tokyo and the brand new Capitol Hotel Tokyu.
The event includes networking parties held at these luxury hotels in the evenings.
“The journey to realizing the first Blossom Japan has not been easy to say the least, but we got there in the end and we are delighted to have made this event a reality despite the many challenges presented,” said Jay Martens.
“One of our local exhibitors, L’Hotel du Lac has just finalised their English website www.lhotel-du-lac.com in preparedness for the international buyers they will be meeting with at Blossom Japan. It is exhibitors like this and other partners who placed their trust in us that have made this event a reality and so helped us with our vision to help the world get better access to Japan’s amazing tourism product.
“We would like to thank and acknowledge the support of the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI) and Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau (TCVB) for their continuous support for Blossom Japan.”
Pictured: Jay Martens, CEO of Lucioles, Hiroshi Sato, Vice Governor of Tokyo and Professor Yoshihara Tsuboi, Chairman of the Blossom Japan Welcome Committee cut the ribbon at the opening of the first BLOSSOM Japan travel show.