The “Sugoi Japan” (Awesome Japan) program has garnered support from a wide array of travel industry companies and is drawing travelers to Japan. In under a fortnight, delegates to the Web In Travel conference in Singapore will get to see just how “sugoi” (awesome) Japan is -- and will continue to be -- as it claims its position as one of the top travel markets in Asia.
“Sugoi Japan,” a joint initiative launched earlier by Web In Travel (WIT) in Singapore and Trust International, aims to restore confidence in travel to Japan and raise funds for Living Dreams, a program created under parent non-profit organization International Educational Association for Children (IEAC) to assist and empower orphans in Japan. Since its launch, it has received massive industry support from leading travel brands around the world who have offered special rates, promotional outreach or other forms of support towards meeting the campaign’s overall objectives.
The first phase of the campaign promoted “awesome hotel deals” for Japan. Trust International partner hotel groups in Japan are participating by offering the special Sugoi Japan rate. Delta Airlines is offering special rates via its www.delta.com website and the GDSs. Hotel groups participating include the Japan properties of the following hotel groups -- Worldhotels, The Leading Hotels of the World, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Solare Hotels & Resorts, New Otani Hotel Group and Okura Hotels & Resorts. The rate is valid until Dec. 15 and bookable via the GDSs as well as on the Trust International booking portal at www.yourreservation.net/ibe/sugoijapan/main.htm.
The second phase will unfold live at the WIT Conference in Singapore on Oct 18 and 19. A “Sugoi Japan” panel will be one of the highlights of the annual conference and will feature speakers from top Japanese brands such as Naoaki Takayanagi, senior manager of consumer sales and marketing, All Nippon Airways; Hiroyuki Kamata, senior executive officer, general manager, business strategy department, Rakuten Travel, Inc.; and Yoshiharu Hoshino, president and managing director, Hoshino Resorts Inc. The WIT Conference will end with a “Sugoi Japan” night held at Takumi restaurant at Keppel Bay Marina, which will be attended by travel industry leaders and local Japanese dignitaries.
Partners of the “Sugoi Japan” campaign include Abacus, Agoda, Air Asia, ANA, Changi Village Hotel Singapore + Oasia Hotel Singapore of Far East Hospitality, CNNgo, Delta Airlines, getflight.com.au, Hoshino Resorts, Hotel-Online, IFH Worldwide, JetstarAsia, Lonely Planet, Rakuten, Sabre, Serenata, Small Luxury Hotels, The Takumi Singapore, Travel.jp, Travelport, TrustYou and Zuji.
The heart of WIT is the annual WIT (Web In Travel) Conference that takes place in Singapore. It started six years ago as an event to focus thought, debate and personality around the very dry space (at that time) of travel distribution, marketing and technology. The conference has grown from 160 delegates in 2005 to 420 in 2010. In 2008, it partnered with ITB Asia to open the first edition of Asia’s biggest B2B travel trade event. Since then, it has been held as the opening event to ITB Asia. It’s been supported by the Singapore Tourism Board since inception.
Beyond the annual conference, the WIT brand now comprises a media website specializing in the travel distribution, marketing and technology space in Asia, providing news, commentary, analysis and opinions; and WIT events which break down walls between people, culture, knowledge and ideas. These include WIT*e -- Inspiration and Mentoring and WITovation Bootcamp -- Entrepreneurship & Innovation. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.trustinternational.com.