TTGassociations Publications January 2019 - Page 22

In terms of accommodation, the city has 26,000 hotel rooms. Large hotels al- low planners the convenience of secur- ing all their needs in one location. The Hilton Sea Hawk Fukuoka, for example, has a convention hall for 4,000 people, 1,053 guestrooms and onsite cultural activities for time- strapped groups. According to Tatsuro Iwase, direc- tor of sales for the Hilton Sea Hawk Fukuoka, Fukuoka’s convenient, citywide transportation (especially the city subway), access from the interna- tional airport and rich selection of local cuisine have proved attractive for its event clients. While the future of Fukuoka looks bright for association meetings, chal- lenges remain. According to Macphie, the main ones are capacity and interna- tional access. “We have excellent facilities and ac- cess from Asia, however, popularity (of the city) means that booking in advance is important,” he explained, noting that more hotels are being built to increase the city’s accommodations capacity. Within the next few years, city room inventory is expected to rise to 30,000. Macphie believes the privatisa- tion and redevelopment of Fukuoka’s airport, including the creation of a new 2.5km runway designed to accommo- date more international flights and ease congestion, might see the creation of more direct flights between Fukuoka and cities in North America and Europe. { Need to know } 1 Great connection Fukuoka International Airport has direct flights to 17 cities in Asia and one city in Europe (Helsinki) while ships depart Hakata Port for Shanghai, China and Busan, South Korea. 2 One-stop service Depending on the meeting, the FCVB can introduce to planners sightseeing materials, unique venue options, tour guides and interpreters, advertising initiatives and organisations offering Japanese cultural experiences such as tea ceremony. 3 Go for welcome support Meeting Place Fukuoka can set up a welcome for association groups. Options include wel- come banners, happi (festival) coat loans and referrals to traditional artists to perform at an opening ceremony. Conditions apply. { Pre/Post } Go on a tranquil river cruise A 70-minute river cruise can be taken around the waterways surrounding Yana- gawa Castle. The experience is conducted in a traditional boat and rowed by boatmen in costumes who sing old songs while ped- dling with only a single staff. Some bridges are so low that guests need to lower their heads. By reservation, guests can enjoy steamed eel during the tranquil ride. Forest adventures start here Ariake Sea, to the south of Fukuoka’s coast, is renowned for large areas of fertile land. It is the site of the largest bay in Kyushu Prefec- ture, offering beautiful views and plentiful farming and fishing opportunities. Experi- ences for guests include making Ariake Nori (Japan’s leading seaweed brand), as well as picking fresh vegetables and fruit with local producers throughout the year. Forest Adventure Itoshima offers five sites of adventure courses for adults throughout a leafy forest, with 38 pieces of apparatus for participants to take on. The activities are perfect as ice-breakers, and for bringing del- egates closer together in fun ways at the end of a meeting. There is a changing room, and outdoor shoes can be rented. Harvest nature’s bounty Get to know a rare textile Hakataori Kougeikan Sanui Textile takes guests on a tour focusing on hakata-ori, a traditional local textile used for obi belts that fasten kimono. Guests can view historic documents related to the fabric before joining a tour of the factory and enjoying shopping. Only 450 people now remain in the field of hakata-ori production, making the textile rare. The activity can accommodate 50 people. “We have excellent facili- ties and access from Asia, however, popularity (of the city) means that booking in advance is important.” Kenny Macphie Spokesperson, Fukuoka Convention and Visitors Bureau Make some food you cannot eat In Japan, the window displays of most eater- ies are filled with lifelike models of dishes served. This activity, hosted by food model specialist Sample Riki Co., allows partici- pants to craft multiple colours of wax to create a food model in a hands-on workshop. Options include ramen noodles, a rice bowl and a dessert. Up to 40 people can be ac- commodated. Partake in a tea ceremony at Kokura Castle Garden Traditional Japanese tea ceremonies are conducted in a large, historic house adjacent to Kokura Castle. The venue promises views of the castle, pond and surrounding manicured greenery. Visi- tors can watch the tea be prepared or simply consume it along with a seasonal sweet. There are low tables and chairs provided for those who prefer not to sit in formal style on tatami mats.