MICE Event Trends in Japan
Naomi Mano shares her insider perspective on the industry with TTG Mice
Few people have such a sharp insight into the MICE industry as Naomi Mano. As the CEO of Luxurique and chairperson of the Japan MICE Association, she is one of the key figures shaping the country’s events industry. With MICE events returning to pre-COVID levels, she sat down with Asia-Pacific’s industry-leading publication TTG Mice to discuss MICE trends, how the pandemic has changed the event industry and how she hopes to see it develop.
One of the prevailing trends she identified during the interview is sustainable travel. “Recently, for meetings and incentives especially, we’re seeing clients specifically requesting EV cars, locally sourced food, sustainable lodgings and local employees,” she says. “We prioritise what is locally sustainable. It’s what we live and breathe [at Luxurique]– preserving Japan’s culture is something the whole company is based around. In many ways, Japan is sustainable anyway, we eat seasonally, and we’re very local in the way we do things.”
Playing a part in decentralising tourism was another talking point during the interview. “Because of over-tourism in urban areas, there’s a drive to bring more meetings and incentives to rural areas. How do we train those locals outside of urban areas to cater to these meetings and incentives? Luxurique work with local municipalities, artisans, and venues to help train them and empower them to think outside the box, to cater to the unique needs of all of our MICE clients,” Mano says. “A lot of Japanese people think if you don’t have a lot of hotel rooms then you can’t put a destination on the map for inbound clients. I don’t think that’s true because many meetings and incentives post-Covid are smaller – say 10 or 20 people – and many smaller hotels or ryokans are more reasonably priced and allow groups to be in a unique, rural setting that offers local experiences.”
To read the full interview and find out more about how Naomi and Luxurique are empowering rural communities, read the full interview with TTG here.