The Tourism Agency will provide up to ¥1 million in subsidies to help temples, shrines, museums, gardens and other facilities featuring Japanese history and culture host international conferences.
Under the subsidy system, to be created in fiscal 2016, the agency will start seeking candidate facilities in April and cull the list to about 15.
Value-added facilities that allow visitors to experience the history and culture of the host country are known as “unique venues.” International meetings and receptions at such facilities are popular in Europe and the United States.
For example, the Louvre and the Opera Garnier, both in Paris, and London’s Natural History Museum have been used as venues for international conferences.
Unique venues are also considered a plus to those trying to host international meetings, as participants at such venues tend to show high satisfaction.
In Japan, international conferences have been held at the Tokyo National Museum, Nijo Castle in Kyoto and Itsukushima Shrine in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture. Even so, using unique venues in Japan for international conventions is relatively rare.
For operators of such facilities, international meetings are seen providing “an opportunity to boost their own financial resources,” a Tourism Agency official said.
The agency aims to promote hosting of international meetings at unique venues by using the subsidy system, the official said.
Applications will be accepted from those planning to hold an international meeting of 50 participants or more from at least three countries, including Japan, with at least 20 percent of all attendants from overseas.