6,410,000 tourists visit Okinawa in 2013 – a new annual record

January 21, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 20, the Okinawa Prefectural Government announced the number of tourists who visited Okinawa from January to December 2013. The number was 6,413,700, a new annual record. This represents a 9.9 percent increase over the previous year. It exceeded the previous record of 6,045,500 set in 2008. The number of Japanese tourists rose by 7.4 percent to 5,862,900 and foreign tourists increased by 46.2 percent to 550,800. The opening of New Ishigaki Airport, the launching and extending of domestic and international routes by low-cost carriers contributed to the increase. The rising travel demands from foreign customers because of the cheap yen also increased the number of the tourists to Okinawa.

The number of tourists visiting Okinawa from Tokyo increased by 7.0 percent to 2,921,300. Those from Kansai increased by 13.7 percent to 1,148,800 with 712,200 tourists from Fukuoka, a 2.8 percent increase. The number of tourists from Nagoya increased by 7.4 percent to 480,300.

The number of the tourists from Taiwan increased by 67.6 percent to 235,600. Those from Hong Kong increased by 45.3 percent to 84,300 with 80,000 tourists from Korea an increase of 2.3 times. Because of the Senkaku Islands dispute, tourists from mainland China decreased by 31.2 percent to 47,800.

The number of tourists who visited Okinawa in December 2013 was 515,500, an increase of 11.2 percent over the same month the previous year. It was the first time that more than 500,000 people visited Okinawa in December.

(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)

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