Okinawa aiming to attract 6.8 million tourists for fiscal 2014

March 8, 2014 Wu Li Jun of Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural Government announced a plan to attract tourists to Okinawa for fiscal 2014 on March 7.

The government has estimated 6.8 million tourists will visit Okinawa for fiscal 2014. The number ranges from 6.7 to 6.8 million, which has increased by 3.4 to 4.9 percent from the estimated number of the tourists for fiscal 2013 (6.48 million).

Of the tourists coming to Okinawa from mainland Japan and other countries, they aim to attract 750,000 to 800,000 foreign tourists, which is a 25 to 33.3 percent increase from the estimated number of the tourists for fiscal 2013 (600,000). The government plans to gain 489.1 to 496.4 billion yen in tourism revenue.

For fiscal 2014, the government is aiming for 73,000 yen in average expenses per person, 3.95 days for average length of stay and 19.78 to 20.08 million tourists staying in Okinawa.

The plan specifies the number of the tourists visiting Okinawa every fiscal year and specific policies to attract tourists. The government has been making the plans since fiscal 2007.

For fiscal 2014, the plan predicts the domestic tourists will continue to avoid foreign travel because of business pickup and continuingly cheap yen. The estimate was based on the opening of the new Naha Airport International Terminal building and the improvement of the terminal building at the Wakasa Berth in Naha.

In the plan, the government promotes attracting tourist visits to Okinawa from in and out of Japan and developing tourism in remote islands. The plan also aims to improve the Okinawan tourism brand, human resource development and local hospitality towards tourists. The government plans to convey the charm of Okinawa during the tourist off-season, promote accommodating Muslim tourists and improve problems in the hotel industry.

(English translation by T&CT)

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