Japan.Incentive Travel Awards

Awards Winners

Awards Winners 2018

  • The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has decided the winners of the JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2018, which recognize outstanding Japan incentive travel*.
  • This year marks the third time these awards are being presented. We do so with the aim of increasing the understanding and motivation of parties involved in the MICE industry in both Japan and overseas through the recognition of examples of the best practices for Japan incentive travel.
  • Entry was restricted to Japan incentive tours which had at least 100 room nights** that occurred within the 2017 fiscal year. Entries were sought from travel agencies and meeting planners around the world and 79 entries were received this time.
  • Winners were selected by a jury made up of outside experts who picked three plans that were especially outstanding in terms of features including improvement of employee motivation and business results achieved after the trip, distinctive programs including in depth sightseeing, and helping invigorate local regions through collaboration with the region visited.
  • As a supplementary prize, prizewinners will be invited to an awards ceremony to be held the day before the VISIT JAPAN Travel & MICE Mart to receive a crystal trophy and a logo that can be used in publicity campaigns.

    * In general, travel for the purposes of improving motivation and sales through incentives, recognition and training for company employees or high achievers in their agencies.

    * One room night is calculated as one person staying one night (20 persons x 5 nights = 100 room nights)

Best Incentive Travel

Event Name

Dancing Snow in Tohoku and Hakodate
(5 days, 495 people)

Organizer

Comfort Travel Service Co., Ltd.(Colatour)(Taiwan)

Rationale

This tour is aimed at high sales achievers in an automaking company. The tour traverses over the Tohoku and Hakodate regions in winter with a unique program that starts in Sendai and proceeds via Zao and Aomori until entry into Hakodate by bullet train. The itinerary combines the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions, enabling the full enjoyment of the charms of winter such as Tsugaru Railway Stove Trains, snowy landscapes, and inns providing every conceivable luxury where guests can enjoy the traditional culture of Aomori, and is of great economic benefit to the region. The program enables participants to enjoy the virtues of Tohoku and Hokkaido to their heart's content. It gives recognition to their achievements made throughout the year and is also projected to improve motivation. The particularly enticing contents of this tour provides incentive to employees and is expected to be linked to increased productivity in the following fiscal year.

Itinerary

Day 1 Travel from Taoyuan International Airport to Sendai International Airport and Mitsui Outlet Park Sendai Port. Arrive in Sendai.
Day 2 Stay at Hotel Metropolitan Sendai. Visit Yamagata Zao Ropeway, Chusonji Temple (Konjikido Golden Hall) and Oshuku Hot Spring.
Day 3 Stay at Hotel Mori no Kaze Oshuku. Visit Hachimantai (play in snow) and Towada Art Center. Stay at Hoshino Resorts Aomoriya.
Day 4 Visit Oirase Gorge and Tachineputa Museum and experience Tsugaru Railway Stove Trains and JR Shinkansen (from Aomori to Hakodate). See Hakodate night view and ride Mount Hakodate Ropeway. Stay in Hakodate.
Day 5 Hakodate. Visit Goryokaku castle ruins (Goryokaku Tower), Hakodate Asaichi (morning market), and Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse district. Travel from Hakodate Airport to Taoyuan International Airport.

Best Creative Planning

Event Name

Tungaloy India Pvt. Ltd.
(8 days, 53 people)

Organizer

Kulin Kumar Holidays Pvt. Ltd. (India)

Rationale

This tour is for the employees of a metal parts manufacturer. It includes an educational tour to study the role of the company's products in Panasonic Living Showroom centered on a visit to the headquarters in Iwaki City. The inspiration obtained by visiting Japanese tourist spots that are new to the Indian market and rich in history and natural beauty like Kamakura, Ashikaga, Karuizawa, and the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is expected to create new business. This is a novel program from India, where great demand is projected to increase in the Japan incentive market in the future.

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart Mumbai.
Day 2 Arrive in Tokyo. Take a city tour and visit Panasonic Living Showroom and Tokyo Skytree.
Day 3 Travel from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. Back to Tokyo.
Day 4 Travel from Tokyo to Iwaki City and take a Tangaloy plant tour. Stay in Iwaki City.
Day 5 Travel from Iwaki City and attend a seminar at Tungaloy Headquarters and a gala dinner.
Day 6 Travel from Iwaki City, visit Ashikaga Flower Park, and travel to Karuizawa Marriott Hotel.
Day 7 Visit Karuizawa, Ogizawa. Sight see in Tateyama (Alpine Route), travel to Toyama (by air). Back to Tokyo.
Day 8 Travel from Tokyo to Mumbai.

Best Community Contribution

Event Name

TOP ACHIEVERS OKINAWA TOUR 2017
(10 days, 67 people)

Organizer

JTB Australia Pty Ltd (Australia)

Rationale

This tour aimed at high achievers and their families in an automaking company. It is a 5-night stay at a high-class resort in Okinawa. On top of including time at beach resorts, the tour deepens understanding of local history and culture through visits to places such as the Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters and Shuri Castle. It also includes a party held at a unique venue in Tokyo and a barbecue dinner on the beach in Okinawa, enabling enjoyment of the charms of both regions. The program has been designed to appeal to both adults and children, and is of great economic benefit to the region. This is a good example of the kind of “city + resort” incentive travel that can entice people to Japan in the future.

Itinerary

Day 1 Travel from Brisbane/Melbourne to Tokyo.
Day 2 Travel from Sydney/Adelaide/Perth to Tokyo.
Day 3 Free time. Welcome Dinner.
Day 4 Arrive in Okinawa (stay at the Busena Terrace).
Day 5 Visit Churaumi Aquarium and Cape Manzamo. Seafood BBQ dinner.
Day 6 Optional tour to Tsuken Island.
Day 7 Free time (leisure time). Farewell dinner at Bankoku Shinryokan.
Day 8 Free time (leisure time). Optional tour.
Day 9 Travel from Okinawa to Tokyo to Australia.
Day 10 Arrive in Australia.

Awards Winners 2017

  • Three incentive programs—selected from a pool of 69 submissions from around the globe—received one of the JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards, established by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).
  • Itinerary submissions were collected from travel agents and event planners around the world. The winning programs illustrated the success of the incentive in meeting client goals, creatively incorporated the unique corporate culture and history of the client, and demonstrated an economic impact on the host destination.
  • The organizers of the winning programs will introduce their itinerary and receive their award at the ceremony on 20 September, before the commencement of the Visit Japan Travel & MICE Mart.
    *Incentive travel is a program specifically designed to motivate employees, most often used to reward top sales staff.

Best Incentive Travel

Event Name

LEXUS China 匠心之旅 Series
(4 series, Total: 86 pax/ 5~8days)

Organizer

交通公社新紀元国際旅行社有限公司
JTB New Century International Tours Co., LTD (China)

Rationale

This artisan culture themed incentive introduced Lexus dealers to Japan’s manufacturing industry and traditional crafts. In addition to cultural experiences, the program also contributed to the promotion of local industry. The itinerary perfectly illustrates Japan’s MICE Vision: “Japan’s Imagination and Intelligence Propel Business into the future.”

Itinerary (Excerpt)

1st (19 pax)

Day 1 Fukuoka Airport~Hakata Ningyo dolls~Meeting
Day 2 Lexus Kyushu Miyata Plant~Kanmon Straits
Day 3 Bizenyaki Ichiyogama kiln~Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword~Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter~Ohara Museum of Art
Day 4 Korakuen~Free time at Mitsui Outlet Park
Day 5 Return home

2nd (19 pax)

Day 1 Fukuoka Airport~HAKATA Ningyo
Day 2 Hakozaki Shrine~Lexus Kyushu Miyata Plant~Fukuoka Airport~Sendai Airport
Day 3 Chūson-ji Temple~OIGEN (cast iron)~Tokyo Station
Day 4 Kataoka Byobu~INTERSECT BY LEXUS~Omotesando
Day 5 Return home

3rd (30 pax)

Day 1 CS improvement information session
Day 2 Beijing~Osaka~Shitennoji Temple
Day 3 Genbudo Museum
Day 4 Kyoto lacquerware shop~Nagoya
Day 5 Toyoda Sakichi Museum~Toyota Kuragaike Commemorative Hall~Fukuoka
Day 6 Hakozaki Shrine~Free time at Tosu Premium Outlets
Day 7 HAKATA Ningyo
Day 8 CS improvement information session

4th (18 pax)

Day 1 To Fukuoka
Day 2 Hakata Ningyo dolls~Lexus Kyushu Miyata Plant~Kyoto
Day 3 Kawashima Selkon Textiles~Manpukuji Temple (Fucha Ryori cuisine)~Kyoto lacquerware shop
Day 4 Shitennoji Temple~Free time at Rinku Premium Outlets
Day 5 Departure

Best Creative Planning

Event Name

Global Leading Luxury Skincare Brand
-Global Conference 2017-
(4 days/ 360 pax)

Organizer

EVO COMMUNICATIONS (Singapore)

Rationale

This incentive program creatively connected a traditional “koji making” experience and team building program with the roots of the client company products. The attention to detail was ubiquitous throughout all aspects of the program, which also included awards and training sessions, and the atmosphere of hospitality was palpable.
The contemporary use of social media to share information made this program an influencer, promoting Japan as an incentive destination.

Itinerary (Excerpt)

Day 1 Arrival
Day 2
  • Business review & training, group photographs
    Japanese-themed with cherry blossoms (sakura), shoji, Japanese guard frame, and sake barrel at foyer. Decorations included cranes and sakura; and members received gifts of scarves and goods of same design motif.
  • Team building & workshop
    Brewing workshop: Hands-on experience with Koji process, and unrefined sake tasting
    Dressing workshop: Kimono photo competition using Instagram
  • Awards ceremony, certificate-presentation ceremony
  • Reception, Gala dinner
    Sake Barrel Breaking Ceremony with Masu Cup Toast
    Drum performance (courtesy of Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau), and Japanese fusion dance
Day 3 Free time
Day 4 Departure

Best Community Contribution

Event Name

新光生命日本靜岡 Summit
(5days/ 120pax)

Organizer

FAN CHIA TRAVEL SERVICE (Taiwan)

Rationale

This 5 day incentive program took place exclusively in Shizuoka Prefecture. The program successfully delivered high level service, cultural experiences and party surprises expected of an incentive. The organizer also utilized the support programs offered by the Shizuoka government to the fullest and the coordination between the planners and the local suppliers had a huge impact on the local economy and increased its appeal for inbound visitors.

Itinerary (Excerpt)

Day 1 Taoyuan Airport~Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport~Tsumagoi Resort
Day 2 Kakegawa Kachouen~S-Plurse Dream Plaza~Chibi Maruko-chan Land~S-Plurse Dream Ferry~Koibito Misaki~Nishiizu Crystal View Hotel
Day 3 Nishiizu Hotspring~Shuzenji~Joren Falls~Fujisan Hougu Sengentaisha~Wakutama-ike~Fuji Takasago Sake Brewery~Nippon daira Hotel
Day 4 Sumpu Castle Park~Oigawa Railway~Horai Bridge~Sato of Gyokuro Green Tea
Day 5 Kuno-zan Tosyogu Shirne~Nicoe~LaLaport Iwata~Departure

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Awards Winners 2016

  • Three prize winners were chosen from among the 21 submissions received.
  • Tours chosen were those that excelled in providing a particular benefit to the organizing company as a result of the incentive travel, that conducted innovative events making use of new devices, and that spread the word about local cultures while achieving regional revitalization through exchange with community members.

Best Incentive Travel

Event Name

幸福生根 北國續語 104 年度高極峰會議 (“The Root of Happiness – Story of the North Country: 2015 Summit”)

Winner

Lion Travel Co., Ltd. (Taiwan)

Travel Program Details

A large-scale incentive travel program from a life insurance company. A total of 6,500 participants traveled across all of Hokkaido for six nights and seven days. Itinerary included sightseeing in various parts of Hokkaido, celebrity talks and dinner parties, and opportunities to cheer on professional Taiwanese baseball players.

Reasons for selection

  • This extremely large-scale (6,500 participants) incentive travel program had a well thought-out itinerary that allowed participants to travel all over Hokkaido.
  • It featured special events unique to incentive travel which could not normally be organized for regular travel, such as talks from celebrities and cheering on Taiwanese baseball players at a baseball game.
  • It was conducted in coordination with the Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation and travel was thus tailored to the characteristics of the region.
  • It received good local media exposure and raised the profile of incentive travel.

detail

Best Creative Planning

Event Name

Chaumet - Hurry up for sales

Winner

teamtravel premium GmbH (Germany)

Travel Program Details

Three night, four day incentive travel program for 55 people from an upscale jewelry manufacturer.
The itinerary included presentations from company executives, talks from guest speakers, visits to the company's stores in Japan, and traditional Japanese-style cuisine provided on yakatabune boats and at first-class Japanese restaurants.
In addition, the program took participants on a “Tokyo City Rally,” where participants were split into small groups to participate in a range of experiences around the city using iPads as their guide.

Reasons for selection

  • The Tokyo City Rally program making use of the iPad as an information device was a novel approach to teambuilding. It has high potential for deployment in new programs in other cities as well.
  • It also earned high marks for the way it incorporated communication with community members through the city rally program.

detail

Best Community Contribution

Event Name

Millennium Achievers Tour

Winner

JTB Australia Pty Ltd (Australia)

Travel Program Details

Seven night, eight day incentive travel program for 25 people from a Japanese automaker's Australian subsidiary. After a day of sightseeing and a dinner party in Tokyo, participants took part in sightseeing and a range of experiences in Okayama, Kagawa, Tokushima, and Kobe.

Reasons for selection

  • While only a small number of people participated, they went on a broad tour centered on Western Japan, including Tokyo, Okayama, Kagawa, Tokushima, and Kobe, and took part in experiences at each city such as the Awa Odori Festival. The program was thus conducted in line with the characteristics of each region and spread awareness of local cultures while contributing to regional revitalization.
  • Participants travelled long distances but spent ample amounts of time sightseeing in each city, with an itinerary designed to tour each location efficiently.

detail

Thank you for your interest in Japan and for submitting an event for the JAPAN Incentive Travel Awards 2016.
The expert panel of judges had very strict criteria.
This is the first time we have held this award competition and we were very impressed with the high quality of all the submissions.
We do intend to continue the JAPAN Incentive Travel Awards campaign next year, so we hope that you submit another event for consideration in the future.

Ryoichi Matsuyama
President, Japan National Tourism Organization
Ryoichi Matsuyama

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