The Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau has joined the BestCities Global Alliance as its first partner from Northeast Asia and the first to go through the new Regional Affiliate Member program. RAM was introduced so that BestCities, a marketing partnership for convention bureaus, could expand into new markets and include CVBs that prefer to work toward full membership in phases rather than invest all at once.
“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 Northeast Asia,” said Karen Bolinger, the current chair of BestCities and CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau.
Bolinger noted that unanimous agreement from the BestCities board of directors is required to approve a new partner. The Tokyo CVB is beginning a three-stage, three-year process through the membership stages, with tiered benefits until they achieve full partner status.
“Although Tokyo is Japan’s most successful convention city, there are many advantages to embarking on the RAM program,” said Kiyofumi Kamijo, chairman of the Tokyo CVB, including the opportunity to be affiliated with an established group of leading bureaus, 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.”
The BestCities Global Alliance has in place a certification program (with standards certified by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance) to ensure a consistent level of convention bureau service excellence from all partner cities. Current partners are: Berlin, Germany; Cape Town, South Africa; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubai, U.A.E.; Edinburgh, Scotland; Melbourne, Australia; Vancouver, B.C., Canada; and Singapore. The two U.S. partner cities are Chicago and Houston.