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BestCities welcomes first North East Asia Partner

BestCities has welcomed the Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau (TCVB) as the Alliance’s first partner from North East Asia and the first to go through the new Regional Affiliate Member (RAM) programme.
The RAM programme was introduced to aid BestCities’ expansion into new markets and to assist those bureaux that either want to take the membership process in stages or don’t necessarily have the same levels of resources to be dedicated to BestCities’ membership in the early months of being a partner.  

“Following a recent growth period that saw three new partners join in four years from North America and Europe, we turned our attention to new and emerging markets such as South America and North East Asia,” said Karen Bolinger, BestCities Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention Bureau.  

“The process of recruiting and accepting new partners is an important one for the Alliance and the unanimous agreement from the Board is required to invite a prospective convention bureau to formally apply and to approve a new partner.”  

As BestCities’ first RAM partner, the TCVB, which easily met the minimum criteria approved by the Board, will be mentored and supported by BestCities as they embark on a three-stage, three-year process through the membership stages, with tiered benefits until they achieve full partner status.  

According to Kiyofumi Kamijo, Chairman of TCVB, the RAM programme offers the best pathway for their bureau to become a BestCities partner.   “Joining BestCities initially as a Regional Affiliate Member allows us to take the membership course at our own pace, whilst having the option to fast track the process at any stage.  

“Although Tokyo is Japan’s most successful convention city, there are many advantages to embarking on the RAM programme, including the opportunity to be affiliated with an established group of leading bureaux, acquiring best practices in the industry and obtaining recognition for our quality standards.  

“Becoming a BestCities partner will also give us the additional endorsement to help us further our development into the international association market.    

“Our metropolitan government has also made a strong commitment to attract more business events over the next five years and our new branding, “Business Events Tokyo”, together with our BestCities partnership reflects the renewed emphasis on this important market for our city,” said Kiyofumi Kamijo.  

With a diverse mixture of modernity and culture, Tokyo’s credentials as an event and meetings destination are impressive.  Currently ranked equal 26th in the world (ICCA 2013) and a major global financial centre, the city boasts over 96,000 accommodation rooms in central Tokyo alone.   

Unsurprisingly, the city caters well for meetings of all sizes with a wide variety of multi-purpose meeting venues including a 5000-seat convention centre.  And, with more than 100,000 restaurants in the city and more Michelin stars than anywhere else in the world, finding somewhere to eat is easy. International access into Tokyo is also excellent with the city’s two modern, international airports handling over 1800 flights every week from 100 cities worldwide.  

“For BestCities, our aim is to continually influence and raise the level of bureaux professionalism – a BestCities signature - around the world and we are very excited to have expanded our portfolio to include Tokyo,” Ms Bolinger continued.   

“All of us at BestCities – Berlin, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore and Vancouver - welcome Tokyo and look forward to working with the Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau as they work towards becoming a full partner.” 

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