Resort Weddings decrease to 3541 couples in Okinawa, down 10.5%

Resort Weddings decrease to 3541 couples in Okinawa, down 10.5%

Number of couples that held wedding ceremonies in resort hotels or other facilities in Okinawa.

September 16, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

According to figures released by the Cultural Tourism and Sports Division of the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) on September 15, the number of couples who held wedding ceremonies in resort hotels and other facilities in Okinawa decreased by 10.5% (415 couples) in the first half of 2011 (from January to June) in comparison with the same period of the previous year. There have been many cancellations or postponements of such bookings after the Great East Japan Earthquake. During the second half of the year, the number is expected to increase from overseas thanks to favorable exposure in the likes of a popular Korean drama that features a scene of an Okinawa resort wedding, the introduction of a new flight between Beijing and Naha, and the increase in the number of flights between Shanghai and Naha.

The figures are based on data submitted by 29 companies that responded to a survey of 61 firms involved with resort weddings in the prefecture.

In terms of regions, newly married couples from Kanto accounted for about 40% of the total with the largest numbers. There were 83 couples from overseas, a decrease of 6.7% (six couples) on the number for the same period of the previous year.

The average cost of wedding ceremonies and receptions was about 910000 yen. The wedding itself is about 320000 yen. By using the average number of people attending ceremonies and reception banquets we can calculate that the total expenditure on Okinawa resort weddings to be at least about 6.6 billion yen.

The most popular style of wedding is the “Chapel Wedding,” preferred by approximately 90% of the couples. In addition, weddings known as “Photo Weddings,” which are carried out on the sea or on beautiful sandy beaches, are becoming increasingly popular. The OPG has set a goal of 8200 couples a year (January to December) for resort weddings. An official at the prefectural office stated, “It will be difficult to achieve the goal but things are looking up so we will do our best.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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