ASEAN-Japan Tourism Exchange Convention held in Okinawa
January 17, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
On January 16, the ASEAN-Japan Tourism Exchange Convention, which seeks to attract tourists from ASEAN countries to Japan and Okinawa was held in Ginowan City. People related to the tourism industry and the government in Japan held a panel discussion on the challenges and visions to promote ASEAN-Japan tourism exchange. They pointed out that it is necessary to start promotions by regions and to launch charter flights to attract more customers.
The Director-General of the Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports of Okinawa, Seijun Wakugawa, said, “The number of tourists from ASEAN to Okinawa between April and November 2013 was about 50,000. This is more than the annual number of tourists in 2012. The number has rapidly increased.”
The Assistant Director of the Department of Tourism and Exchange of ASEAN-Japan Center, Zuiho Kanda, said, “Japan has become a popular destination among ASEAN countries. However, Okinawa is less popular than Tokyo and Osaka. Its accessibility is inconvenient.” She went on to say, “Okinawa should increase charter flights in the future and look to attract tourists using low-cost carriers.”
Jiro Mitsumoto, the president of Asahi Travel Service Pvt. Ltd joined from Thailand. He said that Okinawa and Thailand had many similarities. Mitsumoto continued that Okinawa needs to promote its various tourist spots like Shuri Castle efficiently.
(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)
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