OPG and tourism industry aim to attract 1000 resort wedding couples from abroad

OPG and tourism industry aim to attract 1000 resort wedding couples from abroad

On December 20, at the Urasoe City Industrial Promotion Center, chairperson of the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau Shigenobu Asato (left) announced a plan to promote Okinawa resort weddings overseas.


December 21, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On December 20, the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG), the Okinawa
Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Okinawa Resort Wedding Association announced an international promotion plan through which by 2015 they aim to attract one thousand resort wedding couples from abroad per year. To date, the OPG has carried out promotions overseas in conjunction with individual companies, but this is the first time that it will promote a tourism-related business in collaboration with the bridal industry as a whole. Through this project, the OPG hopes to increase awareness of Okinawa abroad, carrying out promotions to let people know about the attractive aspects of a family trip to the prefecture.

The target of the project in the initial fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2013, is tourists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, countries and regions where direct flights from Okinawa exist and for which there are no visa restrictions. They will participate in overseas resort wedding bridal fairs held in various regions from January next year, and will monitor the resort wedding business abroad.

According to the Tourism Promotion Division of the OPG, the total number of resort weddings held in 2011 in Okinawa was 8872 couples (8616 from Japan and 256 from overseas). That produced an economic benefit of 15.4 billion yen that year. A total of 204 couples came to Okinawa from foreign countries in the period from January to June in 2012.

In order to expand the business in the future, they would particularly like to strengthen efforts to attract tourists from abroad. This project has been carried out as a part of the OPG’s “Visit Okinawa Plan.” Tourism-related industries will contribute approximately 29 million yen of the total project cost of about 97 million yen. At a press conference held on December 20 at the Urasoe City Industrial Promotion Center, Shigenobu Asato, the chairperson of the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “Following on from this project, we would like to expand our efforts to attract tourists from overseas in a variety of ways based on the understanding from the people of Okinawa towards the resort wedding business.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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