Conferences and Incentive Travel: Are Japan and Egypt Open for Business?


Japan Is Open for Business

"Most of Japan remains unharmed by the disaster....Japan is and will remain open for business and travel. International organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization and the World Health Organization have been making objective assessments, and state that excessive travel restriction measures are unnecessary."

New York Times: Takeaki Matsumoto, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan

While calm has been restored in Egypt, the tourists are staying away. This short video is enlightening.

BBC Video: Egypt Tries to Win Back Tourists After Turmoil

"Some hotels say visitor figures are just 30% of last year's levels......In Egypt, tourism used to be $1 billion per month."

When a destination experiences a crisis, many companies and conferences producers permanently write it off. Here are some alternatives.

  • Put things in perspective.
    Don't avoid a destination if there is a problem in a small area hours away from where you will be staying.
  • Add destinations that have experienced challenges to your priority list.
    It may not be prudent to hop on a plane and take your team there tomorrow but explore the possibility 4 months from now and then again in 9 months. As a bonus, you'll stretch your budget by taking advantage of special promotions. 
  • After the crisis has subsided, send 2 employees to scout locations and report back.
    One should be a decision maker and the other a national of the country.
  • Give back to the community.
    Whether you provide school supplies, plant crops, or dig a well, your team will be richer for it.

You never know when disaster will strike and your community will need support. For example, last week we discussed the fact that, after SARS, tourists returned to Toronto. Singapore also recovered but it was touch and go for a while in both destinations:

"....hospitality and tourism economy has been severely hit with record layoffs...."

Toronto and York Region Labour Council

What would have happened if tourism had never recovered? Destinations can recover but not without help.

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised after visiting a destination that had experienced a crisis? Please add your comments.


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