Inbound Business EXPO Japan 2017 sought to answer one of Japanese business’ toughest questions, “How do we attract foreign customers?” With Japan having achieved record-setting tourist numbers last year and the 2020 Olympics on the horizon, this is an important thing to find an answer to.
There seemed to be a general fixation on inbound business from Asian countries — and given the statistics, this makes sense. But most people we spoke to were more than interested to appeal more to people coming from EU, US, and Oceania. Walking around the exhibition floor, you could hear a lot of visitors speaking European languages. The potential to expand business was certainly there.
We were glad to see of Japan’s best feet was put forward: food. Any resident of Japan gets eager to take foreign visitors out to eat for good reason: it’s delicious. A large part of the exhibition floor was dedicated to food and restaurants (most of whom were giving out samples). This is in line with other trends that can be witnessed around Tokyo; for example, any tourist information centre comes stocked to the brim with restaurant pamphlets.
A few Miss Universe Japan prefectural winners were present (Miss Shizuoka and Miss Fukushima pictured here). The pageant winner, Sari Nakazawa, has been very active in promoting Japan as a destination.