Tourism generates 676.7 billion yen in economic ripple effect

September 18, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On September 17, the Okinawa Prefectural Government announced the economic ripple effect of tourism in Okinawa in the 2012 fiscal year. With increasing numbers of tourists from overseas, this business produced a ripple effect worth 676.7 billion yen in 2012, up 2.3 percent from 2009. The number of foreign tourists increased with low-cost carriers coming into service and with the expansion of overseas airline routes and the increase in the number of ports of call by large cruise ships. Tourism spending, used as the basis of the calculation of the economic ripple effect, was 457.6 billion yen, up 3.6 percent from that in 2009.

The economic ripple effect mainly affects the accommodation and restaurant industries directly involved with tourists. Direct and indirect employment effects on tourism reached 81,041 people, an increase of 2 percent from that in 2009. This is equivalent to 12.9 percent of employed workers in Okinawa.

This survey started in fiscal year 2004 and is conducted every five years, but will be carried out every year after 2012. The economic ripple effect includes direct, primary and secondary effects from tourism expenditure.

Tourism expenditure is calculated by multiplying the number of tourists within Okinawa and from other prefectures and overseas by 67,459 yen (an average visitor’s spending). Tourist spending from other prefectures was 376.9 billion yen, an increase of 2.7 percent on 2009, and that from abroad 22.7 billion yen, an increase of 2.1 times on 2009. Local people’s spending was 57.9 billion yen, a decrease of 9.4 percent. The added value effect, including employee income and corporate profits, reached 649.6 billion yen. This represents 9.3 percent of the fiscal 2010 prefectural gross product, which was 3 trillion 725.5 billion yen.

Tsuyoshi Murayama, the chief of the Tourism Policy Division of the Okinawa Prefectural Government said, “We want to promote tourism more actively to attract more people in future.”

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato and Mark Ealey)

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