Tokyo Metropolitan University
Tourism Strategy

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Tourism Strategy Study Group

2018.12.05

The 5th Tourism Strategy Study Group: Mr. Takaaki Umezawa, Chairman of A.T. Kearney K.K.

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The 5th Tourism Strategy Study Group was held on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. Mr. Takaaki Umezawa, Chairman of A.T. Kearney K.K., spoke on “Tokyo's Future City Vision ‘NEXTOKYO' and Tourism Destination Strategy," which was followed by discussions with the attendees from participating companies.

Mr. Umezawa has been offering consulting related to strategy, marketing and organization in Japan and the U.S. over the past 20 years. He established NEXTOKYO Project, a non-government project aimed at evolving post-2020 Tokyo into the most attractive international city in the world named NEXTOKYO, and has been active as the project's joint leader.

In his lecture, Mr. Umezawa explained Tokyo's current positioning in inter-city competition based on the world city rankings announced by The Mori Memorial Foundation, A.T. Kearney and Monocle. He said “While Tokyo has high potential as a tourism destination, it needs to improve as a host-nation and it is necessary that each district protects its respective a sense of community". Mr. Umezawa then discussed the issues he is aware of in Tokyo's future direction and urban redevelopment and the basic concept of the vision design of NEXTOKYO Project. He listed the five points below as the key issues of Tokyo's tourism destination strategy. He also pointed out that the city should work on multilingualization, cashless payment and lifting the ban on ridesharing as necessary conditions.

In the subsequent Q&A session, the attendees from participating companies asked questions regarding various topics such as nighttime economy, multilingualizaion and cashless payment and actively exchanged opinions.

Proposals

(1)MICE/IR
Current status
  • According to the ranking by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) of the number of international conventions held (by city in 2017), Tokyo ranked as 18th in the world with 101 conventions held.
  • Japan was the 5th highest among cities in Asia while Singapore was ranked as 6th , Seoul 10th , Hong Kong 13th and Bangkok 17th .
  • Although Tokyo was ranked as No. 1 in Asia as to city evaluation, the number of MICE held is very low.
  • Customers who visit Tokyo for business purpose such as international conferences and trade shows spend a large amount of money per night and thus they are blue-chip clients who could create repeat demand in the future.
Proposals
  1. It is important to build large-scale and integrated MICE facilities in the center of Tokyo.
  2. As profitability of MICE facilities alone is low, the support of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is essential to realize it.
(2)Wealthy Class Tourism
Current status
  • There are 19 five-star hotels in Tokyo, which is lower compared with Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore (as of September 2018).
  • Tokyo has a long way to go to catch up with other cities in terms of utilization of business jets. The number of their air traffic at New York, Paris or London is several to ten of times Tokyo's.
Proposals
  1. It is important to enhance contents in which the wealthy class is interested such as nature, history, art, food, health and mindfulness rather than something immediately comes to mind when you hear Japan, and which offer experiences they have never seen before or that are unique and can be experienced at that particular spot.
  2. VIP and individualized,comfortable and high quality services are must for attracting the wealthy class. It is indispensable to have comprehensive coordination to secure stress-free and smooth course from entry to exit and offer high quality accommodation facilities and services.
(3)Nighttime Economy
Current status
  • In the DBJ's 2014 Survey of Travelers to Japan from Eight Asian Regions, respondents pointed out nighttime-related items including gambling and show experiences, nightlife experience and watching professional sports in Japan as the most dissatisfying part of their trips to Japan.
  • Nightlife is not almost at all recognized as an attraction of even the popular areas such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ginza, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Behavioral Characteristics Survey of Foreign Tourists by Country in fiscal year 2017.
Proposal (from the interim proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan Diet Members' Association for Nighttime Economy Promotion)
  1. Enhancement of contents (contents of long-run programs, night views)
  2. Development of forums (utilization of unique venues, extension of retention period of temporary buildings of cultural and art facilities)
  3. Transport access (late night operation of railway and bus services and shared taxi)
  4. Ensuring security and safety (the Japanese Purple Flag system, an accreditation system for safe area)
  5. Promotion (websites and applications disseminating information in multiple languages, a ticketing system for foreigners)
(4)Unique Evolution in Each District
Proposals
  1. .As a unique culture has been well-established in each district of Tokyo, to form creative clusters by accumulating cultural contents that would be the pillar of each district and disseminate them to the world
    Ikebukuro = theatrical art, fujoshi town
    Shinjuku = nighttime entertainment
    Harajuku, Shibuya = street fashion, music, night clubs
    Roppongi = art, night clubs
    Ginza = shopping, traditional performing art
    Akihabara = cyberculture, subculture
  2. Redevelopment of TOKYO Bay
    Running and bicycle courses, wharf, yacht harbor, traffic routes on the sea and rivers, entertainment on board in the sea
(5)Full-Scale Utilization of Foreign Human Resources
Proposal

Proactively utilize foreign human resources by easing getting visas for specialists such as tourism producer personnel who unearth and edit tourism resources and carry out marketing and partnership development, cooks, concierges, professional guides, and activity instructors.

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