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Content - Integrated promotion tour of Winterthur in Japan

  • September 25, 2017

Integrated promotion tour of Winterthur in Japan

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – Winterthur, the Swiss region close to Zurich, banks on culture and tourism to emphasize its attractiveness as a location for direct investment from Japan. A delegation from Winterthur has just completed its first Japan visit which followed this new concept: On the one hand, an exhibition with two artists from the Swiss region was opened. On the other hand, Winterthur representatives attended an industrial fair in Kobe and wooed a number of potential Japanese investors. Michael Domeisen of Location Promotion Winterthur Region called the integrated promotion tour a success.

Winterthur

Integrated marketing approach

As a first in Switzerland, Winterthur will merge its tourism and location promotion in December: Winterthur Tourism and the Location Promotion Region Winterthur are to become the new organization “House of Winterthur”. Now, site promotion, business promotion and tourism marketing for the city and region of Winterthur are operated from a single cast which is meant by the principle of integrated location marketing.  

The purpose of the organization House of Winterthur is stated in the association statutes: "House of Winterthur is a mixed-economy and broadly based organization that is committed to the positioning and further development of the Winterthur region as a dynamic business location, an attractive leisure and business destination, a lively cultural center and a diverse educational region.”

Exhibition of Winterthur artists at the Kanaya Art Museum in Chiba (click to enlarge)

Exhibition of Winterthur artists at the Kanaya Art Museum in Chiba (click to enlarge)

Second promotion journey in two years

Following this new concept, a Winterthur delegation has just completed a Japan visit which combined culture and location promotion. “We are putting culture first to foster the relationship between Winterthur and Japan”, Michael Domeisen, Managing Director and Head Economic Development of Location Promotion Winterthur Region, said on the occasion of a reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo. Swiss Ambassador Jean-François Paroz added that culture would be just one facet of the rich exchange between Japan and Switzerland.

Michael Domeisen, Managing Director and Head Economic Development of Location Promotion Winterthur Region, speaking at a reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo

Michael Domeisen, Managing Director and Head Economic Development of Location Promotion Winterthur Region, speaking at a reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo

Second Japan promotion tour

Domeisen explained the need for his second Japan promotion journey within two years with the special situation of many Japanese companies. “Their domestic market situation forces them to strengthen their international ties”, he told the SCCIJ. “Many Japanese companies are searching for connections to Europe and are also technology oriented, which suits the profile of Winterthur”, Domeisen said. Japanese companies would also value long-term commitment which would require more meetings than usual.

Artist Chris Labüsch speaks at a reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo

Artist Chris Labüsch speaks at a reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo

Exhibition with two Winterthur artists

One reason for the promotion tour was the opening of an exhibition of two artists from the Winterthur region. The Kanaya Art Museum in Chiba prefecture is presenting the industrial art duo ChrisPierre Labüsch and the printmaker Georges Wenger. Performance artist Chris Labüsch is showing his “Geotakeles” sculptures. “These metal sculptures with their parts pointing in different directions derive their name from the words ‘geography’ and ‘tacheles’ which means ‘speaking straight’”, he explained at the reception.  

Printmaker Wenger recounted his 40-year-old relationship with Switzerland. He already came in 1973 with his camping bus by ship to Japan and made his first money in Japan by selling watercolor pictures of the center of Kobe. Later, he learned a lot from Professor Tetsuya Noda of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, he told the audience at the Embassy's reception.

Artist Georges Wenger speaks at a reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo

Artist Georges Wenger speaks at a reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo

Strengthening economic relations

His works and the sculptures of LaBüsch will be shown again in 2019 at the Ueno Royal Museum in order to maximize the number of visitors. The current exhibition in Chiba goes back to an initiative of the artist duo LaBüsch who have some contacts in Japan. The artist George Wenger was asked to join the exhibition to broaden its appeal and because on the Japanese side there are also several artists contributing to this exhibition.

At the same time, the Winterthur delegation used its visit to foster and strengthen economic relations. At the reception at the Embassy, representatives of several companies interested in investing in Winterthur were present. Those companies were visited by the delegation three days later. The role model for investment in Winterthur is the Japanese-German machine tool manufacturer DMG Mori which established its European headquarters in Winterthur in 2014. 

More information about the House of Winterthur (in Japanese) is available here.

 

Text: Martin Fritz for SCCIJ; Photos: Winterthur Location Promotion (top picture © by Stefan Kubli, group picture) and Martin Fritz for SCCIJ 

 

    

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