OCVB eyes expansion of international MICE

In foreign countries, bonus trips to Okinawa are increasing. The Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB), which has actively conducted sales and advertising campaigns overseas to attract visitors to Okinawa since 2010, says the number of visitors has been expanding rapidly.

Comparing the figures of 2013 to 2010, the number of applications for OCVB MICE travel support has increased five-fold to 81 applications and the number of actual visitors under the program has increased to about 3.3-fold. Most companies that have taken advantage of the program are IT, insurance and banking companies from Taiwan and Korea.

On the other hand, support requests for MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Convention, Exhibition) has decreased 19.7% from last year. The number of international meetings held in Okinawa is the same as last year, 34 so far, but the number of people attending has increased 18.3% to 5,930.

An OCVB spokesman says, “During 2014, we plan to improve our efforts to attract more visitors for the purpose of MICE from such countries as Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Singapore, and also keeping southeast Asia and Europe in the field of our vision.”