The Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City of Yokohama, and PACIFICO Yokohama (Yokohama International Convention Center) has won the bid to host the 64th ZONTA International Convention through a successful partnership with Zonta International District 26 (Japan) and the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). Some 2000 delegates from 67 countries are expected to convene in Yokohama in 2018, one year ahead of Zonta International’s 100th year anniversary.
Yokohama’s win, beating two other finalists in Asia Pacific, was announced at the recently concluded 62nd Zonta International Convention held in Orlando, Florida.
Hiroko Kano, Convention manager of Yokohama CVB said: “As Zonta International prepares for its 100 years of advancing women’s causes, the Yokohama 2018 convention will set the scene for the organisation’s centennial celebrations.”
Founded in New York, the USA, 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local level through service and advocacy.
There are more than 30,000 members worldwide, belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 67 countries. Japan has around 1000 members in 47 clubs.
Advancing women’s causes is not new to Yokohama. In fact, this is one of the pillars of the city’s focus and the nation’s growth strategy. Last year, Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama was part of the Japanese delegation to the 2013 APEC Women and the Economy Forum in Bali where she delivered a keynote speech on structural reform to encourage the active involvement of women in society. Yokohama is aiming to be the city with the most conducive working environment for women in Japan, and hosting this convention is testament to Yokohama’s determination to achieve this goal.
One extraordinary achievement to date is the city’s zero waiting list for nurseries, from the longest nursery waiting list in Japan just 4 years ago. In record time, the city added an extra 160 certified nurseries offering additional 12,000 places. It is reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promptly called for the “Yokohama Method” to be emulated by other Japanese cities.
In addition to the city’s exemplary achievement in this area which will significantly boost “womenomics,” and the all-out efforts of District 26 members and their elegant personification of “omotenashi” - Japan’s well-known service and hospitality culture - Hiroko also attributes the city’s win factor to PACIFICO, Japan’s largest all-in-one integrated facility which offers an irresistible convention package for Zonta International. With hotel accommodation, retail, entertainment, dining and the Bay just minutes away from PACIFICO, Yokohama is Japan’s all-in-one convention city that wears its “First Port of Call” convention brand proudly.