Makiko Matsuda Healy

Our correspondent recently had a great opportunity in Arabian Travel Market, to have an exclusive face-to-face conversation with Makiko Matsuda Healy, Vice President, Tourism Development, NYC & Company. She talks about New York as a MICE destination, the incentives the traveler should look forward to and much more.

TTW – What makes NYC the most sought-after MICE destination in the continent?

Makiko Matsuda Healy :World The best thing about New York City is it always tries to achieve the organizer’s goal. And above all, I feel everyone wants to come to New York City. Now suppose, an incentive tour is organized at NYC and automatically the attendees’ rate goes up, because I feel New York city has every element in it to be a motivational business destination for everyone.


TTW – Which are the venues to look out for if one is planning an event in your city?

Makiko Matsuda Healy : Well there is plethora of infrastructure for every kind of events. Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is one of the largest on exhibition space for holding the large events. Apart from Convention Centers, we have large conference hotels like Hilton, Sheraton etc. But along with these New York also has some unique venues like you can arrange your events in the Statue of Liberty, in lot of penthouses, in metropolitan Museum. In fact, each and every corner of the city has something or the other for everyone.


TTW: Incentives are a major part of any meeting or event – what are the best options NYC proffers to the business travelers when it comes to incentives?

Makiko Matsuda Healy : I think shopping is one of the greatest incentives for the business travelers in New York City. After a tiring day of meetings and events, on can always look forward to a great shopping outing and rejuvenate. There are museums and Broadway shows and of course, in the city ‘which never sleeps’, one has to experience the bustling nightlife.

TTW: Are there any initiatives taken by New York Tourism Board to promote the inbound tourism? If any, can you elucidate?

Makiko Matsuda Healy : We are planning a lot of things for the growth of inbound tourism in the city. One of the most recent developments has been in our site where we have introduced ‘Neighborhood Toolkit ’. The toolkit categorizes the neighborhood areas of the popular areas in NY i.e. now not only information and pictures of Manhattan would be available but for the better knowledge of the place for the visitors it will be subcategorized as Lower Manhattan and upper Manhattan. I feel the galore of images and videos in these subcategories will definitely allure the inbound tourists.

TTW: How far is NYC tourism board utilizing Social Media as an effective tool of communication?

Makiko Matsuda Healy : The New York City never runs out of news. Each and every day the city has something new to say. So it is absolutely very important for us to keep on updating the world with it. What better way to do it than utilizing the powerful social media. We have all Facebook, twitter accounts and is always updated. Social Media is now a necessity and we surely are completely abreast with it.

TTW: Which are the prominent destinations exhibiting this time at WTM?

Makiko Matsuda Healy : Abu Dhabi, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Spain all have some of the larger stands at the event which suggests the importance that tourism plays within their economies and the need to attend WTM and have maximum exposure in order to conduct business.

We have a number of new exhibitors either exhibiting for the first time or returning such as The Falkland Islands Tourist Board, Chic Outlet Shopping Europe, Belarus Tourist Board and The National Trust. A total of 189 countries and regions are represented at World Travel Market on the exhibition floor, all of equal importance to us

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