Shanghai Travelers’ Club first participation at Blossom Japan: Promoting Japanese luxury hotels to affluent Chinese tourists.

The first ever Blossom Japan, a brand new exclusive event which brings together the top names from the international travel industry and their counterparts in Japan, kicked-off today with 400 local and international guests convening for the first ever appointments-based international event for Japan’s inbound and outbound luxury travel market.
International exhibitors including Aman resorts, Silversea Cruises, Peninsula hotels, Park Hyatt, Hotel Le Bristol (Paris) and Japanese exhibitors such as Hotel Tsuruga Group, The Terrace Hotels and Wanosato will hold some 6400 appointments over the next three days with top Japanese and international luxury travel buyers, like the famous Shanghai Travelers’ Club, the travel club for the Chinese elites.
“We have 90 meetings with Japanese buyers lined up, including many companies that we have not dealt with before – so I believe this should be a very worthwhile event for us,” said Steve Odell, VP Asia/Pacific of Silversea Cruises.
The event was officially opened by special guest of honour Hiroshi Sato, Vice Governor of Tokyo with a ribbon cutting followed by a traditional sake ceremony.
Jay Martens, event director of the first highly successful Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM), and now CEO of Lucioles, the company which conceived and arranged Blossom said:
“We are truly excited that after two years of planning, research and sheer tenacity we have delivered this event, which by all accounts in terms of the quality of buyers and exhibitors and the very enthusiastic response we have received from the industry, fills a much needed gap in the market.”
Commenting on the launch of the show, Professor Yoshihara Tsuboi, Chairman of the Blossom Japan Welcome Committee, said:   “We would like to send a very clear message that Japan truly welcomes international travellers, even if we have not always known fully how best to welcome them.”
“Blossom Japan is a welcome step in bridging the gap between the Japanese and international travel industries and I believe marks a new era for us.”
Similarly, despite having a tremendously unique and diverse offering, Japan as a country does not receive as many international visitors as it could because of the difficulty in gaining access.
“In the past, Japan has not really gone out of its way to promote the country to international travelers because we have been able to thrive from our own domestic market, but I believe that’s now changing and Japan is starting to adapt and wants to be more open to international luxury travelers,” said Yoshihara Hoshino, President of Hoshino Resorts.
Japan exhibitors were very interested in particular by the huge potential with Chinese tourists. “Most of Japanese hotels still have to create Chinese websites, and to recruit Chinese-speaking staff. They are not fully ready to receive affluent Chinese visitors, but they’ll be ready soon, as they are realizing that Chinese visitors may save their business in the future”, said  Hiroko Tanako, Vice-President of Blue Lux Tokyo. She added “It’s good to see the Shanghai Travelers’ Club coming to Japan to prepare luxury shopping tours for wealthy Chinese tourists. We hope to to see more of them in the future.
The event is supported by several of Tokyo’s leading hotels including Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, The Peninsula Tokyo, The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, The Imperial Hotel Tokyo, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, ANA Inter-Continental Hotel, Park Hyatt Tokyo and the brand new Capitol Hotel Tokyu.
The event includes exclusive networking parties held at these luxury hotels in the evenings.
“The journey to realizing the first Blossom Japan has not been easy to say the least, but we got there in the end and we are delighted to have made this event a reality despite the many challenges presented,” said Jay Martens.