Fukuoka City in Japan and Davao City in the Philippines have won the IMEX in Frankfurt Wild Card competition for 2013.

The Wild Card program offers aspiring entrants to the international meetings market the chance to exhibit free of charge alongside established destinations and other suppliers. Winners exhibit on a dedicated Wild Card Pavilion and receive publicity, social media and other marketing support as a result. Previous Wild Card winners have included El Salvador; Budva, Montenegro; Mongolia; Poznan, Poland; and Uganda.

To be considered for Wild Card status, entrants must justify their potential as a meetings and incentive travel destination or a new convention and conference center. They must also demonstrate sufficient infrastructure and skill to support their ambition to flourish within the global meetings and incentive travel market. And they must never have exhibited at an international trade show in the past.

Fukuoka City, with a population of about 1.5 million, is the railway and airline hub of southern Japan, and the closest Japanese metropolis to Asia.

Davao City is in Mindanao, Philippines, and part of the Davao region, the third-most populous metro area in the country. It’s primarily an ecotourism area, with Mount Apo one of the key attractions.